Africa / Agriculture / Asia / Climate Change / Food Security / Latin America / Livelihoods

Smallholder agriculture key to ‘climate-smart’ growth–Nwanze

Woman fattening goats in Niger

A young woman tends the goats she is fattening for sale in a village near Fakara, in Niger (photo credit: ILRI/Mann).

The International Fund for Agricultural Development is arguing for support for smallholder agriculture at the forthcoming week-long Hague Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change, which starts today (31 October 2010). The conference aims to develop a roadmap with concrete actions linking agriculture-related investments, policies and measures to a transition to ‘climate-smart’ growth.

On his way to attend the conference, Kanayo F. Nwanze, the president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, said: ‘Smallholder agriculture lies at the very heart of the climate and food security response of our next agricultural revolution. While there are challenges, there are also opportunities. We must approach this “new revolution” with the understanding that agriculture and the environment must be addressed as a package.’

The press release continues: ‘Governments, international organizations, the private sector, NGOs, philanthropic foundations, local community producers and the scientific community are gathering in The Hague, Netherlands, from October 31 to November 5, to chart ways to achieve long-term poverty reduction objectives whilst simultaneously building environmental benefits, climate resilience and low carbon growth pathways. The conference will address issues confronting the agriculture sector including the degradation of ecosystems.’

Elwyn Grainger-Jones, director of the Environment and Climate Division at the International fund for Agricultural Development, who is also attending the conference, is quoted as saying: ‘Smallholders can be central to meeting the twin challenges of feeding the world and climate change—there are some 500 million smallholder farms worldwide feeding almost one-third of humanity, and they are stewards of a large share of the world’s natural environment—they farm 80 per cent of the farm land in Africa and Asia.’

Read the whole press release at the International Fund for Agricultural Development: Smallholder farmers key to climate and food security solution, 29 October 2010.

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