CGIAR, a global partnership of organisations dedicated to improving food security, rural poverty and human health and nutrition, is turning 60 percent of its $1 billion a year financial resources towards helping farmers through climate-smart agriculture practices, according to an announcement at the UN Climate Summit on Tuesday.
The partnership is funded by a range of private and governmental institutions including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Commission and the World Bank.
Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) involves a range of technologies, farming practices and policies that can increase agricultural production sustainably. Mobile phone climate services and weather-indexed insurance are two examples of climate-smart agriculture initiatives that CGIAR will invest in.
The announcement coincides with the launch of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, a “voluntary partnership of governments, researchers, civil society organisations, businesses, and farmer organisations committed to strengthening global food and nutrition security, improving resilience to climate change, and reducing the carbon footprint of agriculture”, according to a statement.
One big area of investment by CGIAR to help farmers will be the establishment of climate-smart villages (CSVs) where CSA approaches can be tested, implemented and scaled-up across the organisation’s focus regions in East Africa, West Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America, a CGIAR spokesperson told Agri Investor. The amount of the budget dedicated to CSVs has not yet been decided, she added.
The rest of CGAIR’s spending will likely go towards agricultural research and development that is not specifically tackling climate change, such as nutrition, water management, improved commodities and markets, the spokesperson added.
“What you are seeing with these announcements is the recognition that agriculture is critical to global progress,” said Frank Rijsberman, chief executive of CGIAR in a statement. “The Alliance has set a goal to reach at least half a billion farmers with CSA practices – a mark we need to reach if we are to avoid climate shocks to our food systems. CGIAR can meet its goals by expanding the breadth of our research endeavors and breaking down communication barriers that block millions of smallholder farmers from taking advantage of existing innovations.”