We know climate change is transforming the context for rural development, changing physical and socio-economic landscapes and making smallholder development more expensive. But how should smallholder agriculture practices – and support to them - change as a result?

Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Director of IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division, presented a new paper in which he suggests how the following three major changes can support smallholder agriculture.

  • First, 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.

  • Second, this deeper appreciation of interconnected risks should 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.

  • Third, climate change and fiscal austerity are reshaping the architecture of public (and potentially private) international development finance. This calls for:

    • 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
    • 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 will then reflect on implications for climate adaptation financing. 

You can view the webcast recording here:

You can also view a selection of the 200 or so tweets.


15 - Welcome by moderator, Carlos Seré, Chief Development Strategist, IFAD

15.05 - “What does a changing climate mean for how we support smallholder agriculture?” by Elwyn Grainger-Jones, author and Director of IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division

15.15 - Implications for adaptation finance, by Michele de Nevers, Visiting Program Associate, Center for Global Development

15.20 - Open discussion with attendees and webcast viewers

16.10 - Wrap up by moderator

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