7 June 2012. Climate change is transforming the context for rural development, modifying physical and socio-economic landscapes and making smallholder development more expensive. In order to promote discussion on best agricultural practices in this context, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) offers a live webcast titled “What Does a Changing Climate Mean for How We Support Smallholder Agriculture?”, on 8 June 2012, 15:00-16:15 CET.
The webcast starts with a welcome message by moderator Carlos Seré, Chief Development Strategist, IFAD, followed by a presentation by Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Director of IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division, introducing a new IFAD paper titled “Climate-smart Smallholder Agriculture: What’s Different?”. In this paper he suggests how the following three major changes can support smallholder agriculture:
- Project and policy preparation need to reflect higher risks, where vulnerability assessments and greater use of climate scenario modelling are combined with a better understanding of interconnections between smallholder farming and wider landscapes.
- This deeper appreciation of interconnected risks could drive a major scaling up of successful ‘multiple-benefit’ approaches to sustainable agricultural intensification by smallholder farmers. These approaches can build climate resilience through managing competing land-use systems at the landscape level, while at the same time reducing poverty, enhancing biodiversity, increasing yields and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
- Climate change and fiscal austerity are reshaping the architecture of public (and potentially private) international development finance. This calls for: (i) new efforts to enable smallholder farmers to become significant beneficiaries of climate finance in order to reward multiple-benefit activities and help offset the transition costs and risks of changing agricultural practices; and (ii) better ways to achieve and then measure a wider range of multiple benefits beyond traditional poverty and yield impacts.
Michele de Nevers of the Center for Global Development then reflects on implications for adaptation finance. An open discussion with attendees and webcast viewers follows before conclusion.