US $650 M in support of 300 M Smallholder Farmers Adapt to Climate Change

A coalition of donors, aid institutions and philanthropy promised today to invest more than US $650 million in the CGIAR System Organization to help 300 million smallholder farmers in developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The investments from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the European Commission, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany are part of a broader commitment of more than US $790 million to address the impact of climate change on food and agriculture. The investments announced today urging world leaders to mount a “massive effort to adapt to conditions that are now inevitable.”

“The global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) made a solemn promise to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty by 2030, and that simply cannot be achieved unless the world’s smallholder farmers can adapt to climate change,” said Elwyn Grainger-Jones, Executive Director of the CGIAR System Organization. “The new investments announced today are a recognition that we have just 11 growing seasons between now and 2030 and farmers need a host of new innovations to overcome a growing array of climate threats. This new funding is an important start towards a global effort to substantially increase support for CGIAR activities.”

The GCA is co-chaired by Bill Gates, former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva. Earlier this month, the GCA put forward an agenda for adaptation that contains a detailed action plan for confronting climate threats to agriculture and food security and a recommendation to double the scale of agricultural research through the CGIAR System.

CGIAR is a global research partnership dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources for smallholder farmers in the developing world. Investments in CGIAR have proven to be highly cost-effective, generating returns ranging from $2 to $17 for every $1 invested, with significant economic benefits for producers and consumers. CGIAR’s 15 Research Centers are working as a single unit under its flagship Two Degree Initiative for Food and Agriculture.

The Two Degree effort is helping small-scale food producers across the globe adapt their farming systems, livelihoods, and landscapes to weather extremes and embrace production practices that lower emissions.

The investment announced today will support a wide range of activities across the CGIAR System to deliver a steady stream of adaptation solutions to smallholder farmers.

“We’ve also been working closely with smallholder farmers across the developing world for almost 50 years,” said Grainger-Jones. “We know a lot about the crops they grow, the livestock they keep and the challenges and opportunities they currently face. We are ready to put the full force of our insights and activities behind a major effort to confront the climate emergency they now face.”