Finance Small-Scale Farmers

By Irene Gaitirira
Published June 26, 2022

Associate Vice President of IFAD’s Strategy and Knowledge DepartmentThough small-scale farmers produce one-third of the world’s food, they receive only 1.7 per cent of climate finance.

UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) argues that helping small-scale farmers adapt to the impact of the climate crisis is more urgent than ever.

“If we leave small-scale farmers out of the climate finance efforts, we are simply pulling the trigger for food shortages, food insecurity, mass migration, social unrest and conflict,” says Jyostna Puri, Associate Vice-President of IFAD and a global climate leader. “We need to ensure that small scale farmers, who are at the core of our food systems, can adapt to climate change and continue to produce our food tomorrow. We know which adaptation techniques work, particularly those based on nature. We need to bring them to scale and do it quickly.”

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Small-scale farmers, she says, can be efficient stewards of biodiversity and ecosystems besides contributing to climate mitigation efforts by protecting soils and biodiversity and helping to store carbon.

Nature-based solutions such as agroecology, agroforestry, or ecological management in fisheries are effective means to improving food security and livelihoods, IFAD says.

Between 3.3 billion to 3.6 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); most of them live in rural areas. In low-income countries, rural communities are often the hardest hit by extreme weather events because they are the least able to cope with and recover from climate change shocks.

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More-climate-finance-in-support-of-small-scale-farmers-is-urgently-needed-warns-IFAD-at-Stockholm50.jpgThe latest IPCC reports have urged all stakeholders to act before it is too late, as the window of opportunity to secure a sustainable future for rural populations is fast closing.

Scientific evidence has proved that investments in climate adaptation reduce risks to people and nature, saving lives and protecting and improving livelihoods. These investments have become more urgent than previously thought, according to the IPCC.

However, climate adaptation finance continues to lag despite a 53 per cent increase in 2019-2020. During this period, for every US$12 spent on mitigation, only US$1 was spent on adaption work.

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