A major new partnership has been announced to help African smallholders take control of their livelihoods in the face of the risks posed by climate change.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN is scaling up its work with AgriCord, a global alliance which supports over 200 farmers’ organisations in the developing world.
The new agreement, signed for a five-year period, will see the two work on a number of projects on supporting farmers gain access to markets and finance, as well as helping families develop the technical expertise needed to adapt to extreme weather conditions.
The two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to help farmers’ organisations in their vital capacity to reduce rural poverty across the African continent.
Representatives from the organisations highlighted the need to involve families and smallholders in making new policy decisions and improving their capacities to respond to climate shocks.
Daniel Gustafson, the FAO’s Deputy Director-General, said the partnership is also designed to increase gender equality, market access and the prevalence of sustainably managed farms and forests “in the face of climate change and the many other pressures faced by farmers around the globe.”
Jean-François Isambert, President of the Brussels-based AgriCord, said the agreement will “strengthen support for producer organizations to achieve immediate results in terms of global food security and economic, ecological and climate resilience”
“Farmers working on sustainable farms and farmers’ organisations act as catalysts to ensure the supply of quality food, environmental services and climate change response. Farmers are best placed to find the best solutions to these global challenges, and their organisations have the ability to implement them. At the global level, organised farmers can speak for themselves and collectively defend their common interests”
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