INOFO succeeded in registering one of our Conveners to be part of IFADs mission to COP28. As part of the preparation, AFA and IFAD conducted a conference of Family Farmers for Climate Action was held in Rome, October 2023 to create a common voice for Family Farmer Organisations, especially in organic. The main output of this conference will be a statement/declaration which we will disseminate, a consensus roadmap document for our message at COP28.
Small-scale family farmers face a multitude of challenges that hinder their ability to achieve sustainable livelihoods and to further promote their well-being. One of the greatest challenges that they now face is the impact of climate change. Climate change has brought about unpredictable weather patterns, with smallholders experiencing prolonged droughts, extreme rainfall events, and typhoons. These climatic variations pose significant risks to agricultural productivity and food security. Moreover, the effects of climate change are felt differently among men, women, and young farmers, with women being particularly disadvantaged due to structural conditions and cultural norms that limit their access to resources and decision-making power.
Despite these obstacles, small-scale family farmers have demonstrated remarkable resilience and innovation. They have adapted their agricultural practices to mitigate and cope with climate change while simultaneously protecting and regenerating natural resources. Through their collective efforts and organizational structures such as cooperatives and farmer organizations (FOs), they have proven these institutions to be effective mechanisms for addressing economic, social, and cultural needs. By pooling resources, sharing knowledge, and collectively organizing themselves, smallholder farmers have been able to overcome challenges and improve their livelihoods and the well-being of the communities they serve.
Direct financing to small scale family farmers, through their organizations and cooperatives, will address the challenges they face, scale out and scale up their work in strengthening climate resilience. However, in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, there is a substantial funding gap of approximately 170 billion USD. Financial institutions often view investments in smallholders as high-risk ventures, and there is generally a lack of recognition regarding farmer organizations as effective conduits for financial investments. As a result, small-scale family farmers struggle to access the necessary financial resources and extension services to adapt to climate change and improve their farming practices.
Eight international and regional farmer’ organizations aligned with the global Farmers’ Forum (FAFO) Steering Committee of IFAD have agreed to conduct thi global conference : Asian Farmers Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), International Confederation of Organizations of Family Farmers in Mercosur(COPROFAM), Intercontinental Network of Organic Farmer Organization (INOFO), Network of Producers and Farmers’ Organizations in West Africa (ROPPA), World Farmers Organization (WFO), World Forum of Fishers People (WFFP), World Forum of Fish Harvesters and Fish Workers (WFF), Pan African Farmers Organization (PAFO). The event will be a two day hybrid activity that will bring together participants from smallholder family farming constituencies which includes women, men, young farmers, fishers, IPs, herders, and pastoralists from different regional and global farmers organizations. The objective of the conference is to provide a platform for sharing information, for building consensus on key messages and call to action, and for defining a roadmap for family farmers’ climate action leading up to COP28.