In the relentless pursuit of a sustainable future, social enterprise powerhouse One Acre Fund has unfurled its groundbreaking ‘Global Croptake.’ This compelling analysis delves into the challenges besieging global food production since the Paris Agreement, sounding a clarion call for smallholder representation at COP28.
A Symphony of Data: The Croptake is not just a report; it’s a symphony composed of historical and climate modeling datasets. These datasets, akin to musical notes, illustrate the evolving dynamics of global crop yields, temperatures, soil health, extreme events, and the haunting specter of food insecurity. The crescendo echoes particularly loud for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, who bear the brunt of climate breakdown.
Untapped Potential Unveiled: Hot on the heels of the Croptake, the ‘Untapped Potential’ report reveals a stark reality – small-scale family farmers, the unsung heroes producing a third of the world’s food, received a mere 0.3% of international climate finance in 2021. A damning statistic that underscores the urgency of the situation.
Climate Crisis Unveiled: The Croptake pulls no punches in exposing the harsh truths of the past eight years. While wheat, rice, and maize yields rose, a surge in severe food insecurity and undernourishment unfolded. Nitrogen leaching escalated, and 33% of soils now stand degraded. Climate-related disasters soared by 83% from 2000 to 2019, casting an ominous shadow over the future.
The Path Ahead: If our trajectory remains unaltered, a dystopian 2050 awaits – 90% of soils degraded, crop yields plummeting, hunger rising by 20%. In this ‘business as usual’ scenario, global temperatures could soar by 4.4°C, unleashing a 20% increase in category 4 and 5 tropical cyclones.
Finance Disconnect: Shockingly, a mere 2% of international climate finance, a paltry $2 billion, caters to small-scale family farmers. This disconnect mirrors the estimated $170 billion required annually for smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa alone.
Annie Wakanyi, the Director of Global Government Partnerships at One Acre Fund, issues a potent call to action. “Smallholder farmers have an opportunity to combat global heating, secure livelihoods, build soil health, and safeguard a world for future generations.”
One Acre Fund: A Beacon of Change: With a footprint across sub-Saharan Africa supporting over 4 million smallholder farmers, One Acre Fund champions an adaptation-first approach. Their model trains smallholders in climate-smart practices, ensures financial stability, and advocates for the pivotal role of smallholders in achieving global climate goals.
Zambia-based farmer Trina Mwiinga attests to the transformative power of the initiative. “Life is becoming better thanks to the trees.”
As COP28 looms on the horizon, One Acre Fund invites global governments, policymakers, investors, and the public to heed the urgency, invest in smallholders, and inscribe smallholder farmers prominently in the COP28 cover text. It’s not just a call; it’s a rallying cry for a world where the soil thrives, crops flourish, and the symphony of sustainable agriculture plays on.
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