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Channeling climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers

Smallholder farmers are on the frontline of climate change. They inhabit some of the most vulnerable landscapes, such as hillsides, rangelands, semi-arid and arid lands, deltas and flood plains, and rely on climate-sensitive natural resources to make a living.

As a result, they are at significant risk from increasing temperatures, erratic rainfall, pest infestations, rising sea levels, and extreme events such as floods, droughts, landslides, typhoons and heat waves.

Smallholders often lack secure land tenure and resource rights, and access to markets and finance. They are often overlooked in global and national policy debates on climate change issues despite the fact that poor rural communities bear the brunt of the impact of climate change and are key to the solution.

Since climate change exacerbates existing threats, development organizations must devise new financial and programming instruments to address complex emerging problems.

The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is IFAD’s flagship programme for channeling climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers. The programme is incorporated into IFAD’s regular investment processes and benefits from rigorous quality control and supervision systems.

Thanks to the joint efforts and generous support of 10 donors, ASAP has received US$300 million in contributions. It has helped eight million vulnerable smallholders in 43 countries cope with the impact of climate change and build more resilient livelihoods.

In the future, ASAP will ensure that approaches for addressing climate-related risks are integrated into all of IFAD’s portfolio of loans and grants.

The ASAP fund allows IFAD country programmes to design projects from a climate-informed perspective and leverage resources for technical assistance.

ASAP funds activities that focus on:

  • policy engagement –supporting agricultural institutions in IFAD Member States seeking to achieve international climate change commitments and national adaptation priorities;
  • climate risk assessment – facilitating the systematic use of climate risk information when planning investments to increase resilience;
  • women’s empowerment – increasing the participation of women in, and their benefits from, climate-change adaptation activities;
  • private-sector engagement – strengthening the participation of the private sector and farmer groups in climate change adaptation and mitigation activities;
  • climate services – enhancing the use of climate information for when planning investments to increase resilience;
  • natural resource management and governance – strengthening the participation and ownership of smallholder farmers in decision-making processes; and improving technologies for the governance and management of climate-sensitive natural resources;
  • knowledge management – enhancing the documentation and dissemination of knowledge on approaches to climate-resilient agriculture.

Spotlight

Statement of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) at the twenty-third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

"We need to invest in the future that we want and accompany those who need support, leaving no one behind," said the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in a statement released at the UNFCCC COP23 in Bonn.

Related publications

Fostering Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural Value Chains: The role of climate-resilient infrastructures for SMEs

February 2020

This study reviews evidence on initiatives that invest in climate-resilient infrastructure to support smallholder farmer organizations and agribusinesses in the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) category and, ultimately, to foster inclusive and sustainable agricultural value chains. Case studies from the BRACED and ASAP programmes across sub-Saharan Africa are presented.

Climate Action Report 2019

December 2019
The Climate Action Report 2019 provides an overview of IFAD’s work on climate change and reports on progress, challenges and achievements.

Climate action report 2018

November 2018
This Climate Action Report aims to present an overview of how IFAD is working to put into action its climate change mainstreaming agenda. It is intended not as a comprehensive review of its portfolio, but rather to provide its stakeholders with an understanding of how IFAD is stepping up its efforts and ambitions to contribute to addressing one of the greatest challenges faced, most acutely, by the rural poor. This report focuses on recent progress in 2017 

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