Smallholder farmers are a key driver in resolving the climate change challenge. Not only can they feed the growing population of our planet, but farmers can help in restoring the degraded ecosystems and reduce agricultures carbon footprint. Organizations like the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have conducted research with the Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture Food Security of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and have found that there may not be as big a job as initially thought in reducing emissions. It may be as simple as adaptation within farming.
With investment put in the right place, IFAD hopes to reduce CO2e emissions by 80 million tons by the year 2020 through its Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme. With 13 IFAD-supported adaptation projects in play, CO2e emissions could be reduced by a whopping 30 million tons, that’s 38% of IFADs target. Launched in 2012, the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme has become one of the largest global financing sources dedicated to supporting the adaptation of poor smallholder farmers to climate change.
The practice of climate smart agriculture can play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and bring new opportunities. Currently, IFAD’s investments focus on rural poverty reduction, climate change adaptation and food security. Practices within IFAD’s climate change adaptation address farmers’ immediate needs, like dealing with unpredictable rains, and gradual shifts in crop suitability.
Climate change is a growing issue that will not be resolved while waiting for a magical remedy appear. IFAD has proposed a solution to help fight the growing battle. With the right investments and improvements in farming practices, smallholder farmers can reduce the effects of climate change with hard work and the ability to adapt their practices. Hard work and the willingness to learn can pay off, and result in a more efficient and more eco-friendly farming world.
Read more about the program on the UN website.