Climate change is a food security issue
Smallholder farmers aren’t responsible for the climate crisis but they are among the most impacted. Making up 70% of the world’s extreme poor, they earn their entire livelihood from an acre or two of land. The latest report from the UN IPCC shows that in Africa alone climate change has already reduced agriculture productivity growth by 34% since 1961 – a downward trend set to continue.
One Acre Fund at COP27
At the UN climate change talks (also known as COP27) that happened in Egypt last November, a One Acre Fund delegation from Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, the UK and the USA brought the voices of smallholder farmers into the room. They highlighted how climate change is having a detrimental impact on smallholders' livelihoods - and food security - and how smallholder farmers are an important part of the solution to the climate crisis.
Our delegates spoke at a number of events in the Food Systems Pavilion. Events from the Pavilion are available to watch here.
World leaders can no longer ignore the fact that climate change is a food security issue. We need urgent action to help build the climate resilience of the some 525 million smallholder farmers across the world.
At COP27 we called for the following:
- World leaders must empower smallholders to adapt to climate change: Smallholders must benefit from the $100B-a-year adaptation financing commitment; yet only 1.7% of global climate finance currently targets smallholders (IFAD) even though there are 608 million smallholder farms feeding billions of people around the world (FAO).
- World leaders should recognise the potential of smallholders to contribute to climate mitigation goals: Smallholders are stewards of a huge portion of the world’s agricultural land, and can leverage this land for environmental gains through more inclusive carbon markets, on-farm agroforestry, or improving soil health.
Watch our team tell world leaders what smallholders need:
We’re launching a 10-year climate strategy committed to building the resilience of smallholder farmers in the face of a changing climate.
Enabling farmers to adopt climate-smart approaches to farming helps build more sustainable food systems that protect the environment, improve smallholder livelihoods, and create new business opportunities. This is critically important as the world grapples with the combined challenges of climate change and economic crisis.
Farming insurance is an emerging tool in climate risk management that can help ensure smallholders are able to plant again the following season even if crops fail in the current one, and encourage them to take risks to invest more in their farms even when the climate is so unpredictable.
Only by equipping smallholder farmers with the tools they need to withstand the impacts of climate change can we achieve sustainable and equitable food systems.
The Food Systems Pavilion at COP27
We're excited to be part of the very first Food Systems Pavilion at COP27. The Pavilion is focusing on actions, strategies, and solutions across the entire food value chain that have the potential to drive the transformation towards healthier, more resilient, and more equitable food systems. Find out more