By Teresa Welsh, Devex
Those of you who tuned into our Seat at the Table event last month (catch up here if you weren’t able to join us live) heard Kathryn Hollifield preview the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program’s steering committee meeting. This week Hollifield, who is program manager of GAFSP, shared with me the news that it has taken the decision to explicitly focus its programs on climate.
Many GAFSP projects already had climate elements, Hollifield told me, but this is the first time the program — which was created after the 2007-08 food price crisis and focuses on building long-term resilience in agriculture and food systems in low-income countries — will require it. The move was driven by smallholder farmers, who are seeing the ill effects of climate change on their production and livelihoods.
“It changes every single step and every definition of the program,” Hollifield said. “It really is making sure that existing and future projects are aligned with and are helping to build the national climate plans and these are being integrated with the wider climate principles and the different commitments in the global fora that are out there.”
The news will certainly be welcomed among many who seek to strengthen the ties between the food system and agricultural communities after the U.N. Food Systems Summit. Many people I’ve talked to not only want the coordination to continue into the 2022 U.N. Climate Change Conference and beyond, but say it is absolutely vital if either the food systems transformation or climate change agenda are to succeed.