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Prioritizing Climate Resilience: Building a New Policy Consensus with Smallholder Farmers

Monday, Oct 11 | 12:45-14:15 (CET)/ 6:45-8:15 (EST)

 

 

Speakers

Opening Remarks: Dirk Schattschneider, Chair of the GAFSP Steering Committee and Assistant Director-General, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany

Scene-setting Presentations:

  • Ms. Carin Smaller, Director for Agriculture & Investment, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) – Ceres2030 
  • Dr. Madhur Gautam, Lead Agriculture Economist, World Bank 

Panel Discussion:

  • Ms. Chintanaphone Keovichit (Noy), Coordinator, Lao PDR Farmer Network 
  • Ms. Constance Okeke, Project Manager for Public Finance of Agriculture, ActionAid International 
  • Mr. Musa Sowe, Vice-President, The Network of Peasant Organizations and Agricultural Producers in West Africa (ROPPA) 
  • Dr. Patrick Kormawa, Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture, Sierra Leone
  • Mr. Shamsul Alom, Additional Director, Department of Agricultural Extension, Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh

Discussants:

  • Ms. Asma Lateef, Policy and Advocacy Lead, SDG2 Advocacy Hub
  • Ms. Kathryn Hollifield, Program Manager, GAFSP

Moderated by Dr. Bettina Prato, Senior Coordinator, Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN)


Introductory remarks by the GAFSP Steering Committee Chair highlighted Germany’s commitment to fight climate change and end global hunger and the role that GAFSP could play in this process.  A presentation by Ceres2030 followed on the recent evidence that found donors must double their current resources spent on agriculture and food security. More specifically, an additional US$33 billion per year investment is needed by 2030 (US$14 billion from donors and US$ 19 billion from governments) to move 500 million people out of hunger, double the incomes and productivity of 545 million small-scale producers, and maintain greenhouse gas emission targets. The speaker also discussed ways to support small-scale farmers to adopt new climate-resilient technologies and drought resistance crops while providing sufficient training and extension services.

The World Bank followed Ceres2030’s presentation, discussing a IFPRI-World Bank report on repurposing agricultural policies and support for healthier people, planet, and economies. The speaker noted that with the growing global demand for food, coupled with high vulnerability to climate change, the need to align incentives to make agriculture more productive, sustainable, and nutrition-sensitive is critical. However, food system transformation requires a systemic shift. The best option moving forward is to repurpose support towards enhancing productivity, especially emission efficient technologies/practices, which have large triple-win payoffs in terms of climate, poverty, and food security. He also discussed how the World Bank is supporting countries to identify context-specific reform options through evidence-based policy dialogue.

This scene-setting portion of the event was followed by a lively panel discussion between policymakers, smallholder farmers, and civil society representatives. All panelists spoke about the need to invest in agriculture to strengthen smallholder farmers’ resilience against climate change. 

Speaking from the perspective of policymakers, Sierra Leone and Bangladesh government representatives shared their country’s experiences in scaling up climate-resilience agriculture. The representative from Sierra Leone noted that the approaches piloted under the GAFSP-funded project have led to the government’s formal adaptation of various actions. He highlighted the catalytic nature of technology in modern-day agriculture, the urgency to support the private sector to gain more prominence in the agricultural sector, and the importance of nexus between technology, knowledge, and partnerships to move the development agenda forward. Additionally, the representative from Bangladesh spoke about the policies that his government has implemented, largely thanks to the success of the GAFSP-funded Missing Middle Initiative (MMI) project. Specifically, he pointed out the government’s efforts to mainstream the MMI approach of building strong producer organizations to promote inclusive finance among smallholder farmers. 

The discussion between the farmers’ organization and civil society representatives highlighted smallholder farmers’ experiences in the context of climate change. The speaker from ROPPA stressed the need to invest in human capital and research and extension services to address the climate crisis. He highlighted the necessity for adequate infrastructure for post-harvest management and the need to provide business and entrepreneurship support to smallholder farmers. The Lao PDR Farmer Network representative spoke about the complex ways climate change impacts smallholder farmers and highlighted the urgent need to address the climate crisis. The speaker from ActionAid International discussed the challenges faced by female farmers, including climate change and access to finance. Additionally, she discussed the immediate priorities to build climate resilience among female farmers. Finally, she urged governments to put female smallholder farmers at the forefront of all agriculture financing-related discussions.

The event concluded with remarks from the organizing team – GAFSP and the SDG2 Advocacy Hub. The SDG Advocacy Hub representative reiterated the need to build a new policy consensus with smallholder farmers to prioritize their climate resilience and ensure that they are at the center of all the new commitments and policies that are put into place. The representative from GAFSP highlighted the critical role that the inclusive nature of the Program plays in bringing together a diverse set of voices to outline the relationship between the climate and food and discuss the ways to address the challenges faced by the smallholder farmers. Both discussants called for better utilization of all available resources, including human and financial capital, and the new and existing knowledge and know-how, in our efforts to address the current agricultural financing gap and support smallholder farmers’ resilience.

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  • Climate Change