By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, Thursday, decried in its new report $10 billion as annual fund for smallholder farmers from the half a trillion US dollars for the first time in 2017 and 2018.
According to the report by released by IFAD and Climate Policy Initiative, CPI, only 1.7 per cent of climate finance – a fraction of what is needed – goes to small-scale farmers in developing countries.
The report also lamented that despite smallholder farmers’ disproportionate vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.
The report reads in part, “Examining the Climate Finance Gap for Small-Scale Agriculture is the first detailed analysis of climate finance flows to small-scale farmers.
“It is released during the Finance in Common Summit where representatives of the world’s 450 Public Development Banks are meeting for the first time to discuss how to reorient financial flows to support global climate and development targets.
“The report shows that while financing that supports actions to address climate change surpassed half a trillion US dollars for the first time in 2017 and 2018, only $10 billion of this reached smallholder farmers annually.”
The President, IFAD, Gilbert Houngbo, called for increased attention on smallholder farmers that produce the world’s food but are most vulnerable to climate change, hence should have access to climate finance.
Houngbo said: “It is unacceptable that the people who produce much of the world’s food, and who are at the greatest mercy of increasingly unpredictable weather, receive the least support.
“Small-scale farmers living on marginal lands are on the frontline of climate change and should have access to the climate finance they need to adapt their production.
Also the Global Managing Director, CPI, Dr Barbara Buchner said, “Our findings show that only a small percentage of the money invested in climate action globally makes its way to smallholder farmers.
“This lack of financing could have dire effects, as smallholder farmers urgently need more support to sustain their livelihoods in the face of climate change.”
According to the statement small-scale farmers currently produce 50 per cent of the world’s food calories. However, higher temperatures – together with increased incidences of drought and flooding – destroy crops and livestock and make it difficult for them to continue to feed their communities and earn a living.
While there are no exact figures available of what climate financing small-scale farmers require, various estimates of their general needs are in the order of hundreds of billions annually, which gives an indication of the magnitude of the climate investments required.
IFAD is the only multilateral development organization focused on eradicating hunger and poverty in rural areas. Next year it will launch ASAP+, a climate financing mechanism envisioned to be the largest fund dedicated to channeling climate finance to small-scale producers to help them adapt to climate change and combat hunger and malnutrition.
ASAP+ builds on IFAD’s Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), the largest global climate adaptation programme for smallholder farmers, which has already channeled more than $300 million to more than 5 million farmers in 41 countries.