June 8, 2024
Climate change is driving us to the brink of a catastrophe. While no country is immune to the impacts of climate change, rural communities in low-income countries are the most vulnerable and the least able to cope. For small-scale farmers, the soaring prices for energy and inputs such as fertilizer and feedstock could be the final straw.

By Linda Odhiambo
Published November 26, 2022

Farmer organizations convene to discuss support for small-scale farmers in East and Southern Africa  As crippling spikes in food and energy prices continue to hit East and Southern Africa, the devastating impact of climate change on the productive capacity of small-scale farmers has become an urgent issue. Therefore, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and farmer organizations from the region are jointly convening the Regional Farmers’ Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to galvanize greater efforts to build farmers’ resilience through partnership.

Climate change is driving us to the brink of a catastrophe. While no country is immune to the impacts of climate change, rural communities in low-income countries are the most vulnerable and the least able to cope. For small-scale farmers, the soaring prices for energy and inputs such as fertilizer and feedstock could be the final straw.

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“The Forum comes at a critical time when we risk the collapse of agricultural systems that sustain millions across East and Southern Africa. Farmers organizations are the voice of small-scale farmers, including pastoralists and artisanal fishers in the region. These farmers produce most of the food consumed, but are currently not adequately supported,” says Satu Santala, Associate Vice President for  External Relations and Governance Department at IFAD.

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Climate change is driving us to the brink of a catastrophe. While no country is immune to the impacts of climate change, rural communities in low-income countries are the most vulnerable and the least able to cope. For small-scale farmers, the soaring prices for energy and inputs such as fertilizer and feedstock could be the final straw.The Regional Farmers’ Forum is a bottom-up process of consultation and dialogue between organizations of small-scale farmers, rural producers, IFAD and governments, focusing on agriculture, rural development and poverty reduction. Since it was established in 2005, the forum has held six global forums, and one regional forum in East and Southern Africa. The forums have given farmers a platform to speak as a united voice so that their issues, concerns and recommendations become an integral part of policies and practices at grassroots, national, regional and global levels. The forum will discuss strategies to transform rural food systems and improve farmers’ livelihoods and resilience, for example through engagement with private sector, greater access to finance, climate change adaptation, and digitalization of agriculture through ICT4D. In addition, participants will share best practices and explore new opportunities for partnership, looking at trends and specific country cases of partnerships between farmer organizations and IFAD.

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