International NGO Farm Africa has joined forces with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) to hold a parliamentary reception on 16 January focusing on the importance of sustainable agriculture
The reception, which is sponsored by Saqib Bhatti MP, will highlight the need to support smallholder farmers worldwide in tackling the climate crisis. The UK Government’s new White Paper on International Development sets out a roadmap until 2030, the end date of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The White Paper recognises that achieving this goal and meeting the SDGs is only possible if all countries achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth, reiterating the UK’s commitment to leaving no-one behind. It also cknowledges the role of agricultural sector growth as one of the most effective ways of reducing poverty in low-income countries.
At the event, Farm Africa will call for support for the agricultural sector to focus on:
Increasing climate finance for smallholder farmers
Support for climate adaptation should be targeted to reach those producing most of the food in the Global South: smallholder farmers.
Prioritising support for female smallholder farmers
Women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change as they are often responsible for fetching food, water and fuel for their families. However, rural women are largely left out of climate finance activities and are underrepresented in climate policy decision-making. Closing the gender gap in access to resources, services and decision-making is necessary in order to enhance smallholder farmers’ capacity to adapt to climate change.
Helping smallholder farmers engage with markets
Smallholder farmers need access to markets to be able to secure finance to fund investment in climate adaptation, secure inputs such as drought-tolerant seeds, and sell their produce to justify investing in increasing productivity in the face of climate change.
“Farmers all over the world are being hit by challenge after challenge as the climate crisis accelerates, threatening food security," said NFU president and Farm Africa ambassador, Minette Batters. "I am proud to be an ambassador of Farm Africa, an organisation that is helping smallholder farmers across eastern Africa to implement climate-smart agricultural practices that mean they can grow and sell more, while protecting the environment for generations to come.”