The United Nations (UN) climate action summit in New York on Monday alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the World Bank and other countries have announced a pledge of $790 million to enhance over 300 million small-scale food producers across the globe.
This is coming as an urgent need to address the issue of climate change which has led to drought increase, flooding and extreme weather conditions witnessed in most countries, this year alone.
Experts on climate change have warned that by 2050 if countries do not address the issues of the environment and carbon emission into the atmosphere global agricultural yield may reduce by 30 percent.
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In addition, food prices are projected to rise by 20 percent in poorer communities which will lead more people to extreme poverty thereby losing most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
The move by these agencies was however borne out of the report released by the global commission on ‘Adaptation’ urging world leaders to speed up the implementation of the report.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation thus said it will commit $310 million over the next three years towards the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and will be supported by the Netherlands, European Commission, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Germany, and the World Bank.
Gates said CGIAR has been doing a lot in feeding poor people in most poverty laden nations.
He said, “Most people have never heard of it, but CGIAR has done more to feed the world’s poorest people than any other organization on earth.”
“Ultimately we need to double funding for CGIAR research to fully equip this unique and valuable institution to confront a wide range of climate challenges. These commitments are a critical down payment toward reaching that the goal,” he added.
Similarly, the former UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders to take urgent actions in helping smallholders farmers which could save the world from an impending threat to food security.
He said, “Without urgent action to help the world’s smallholder farmers we risk undermining our food security for generations to come. Today’s financial commitments are a positive step forward, but more must be done to ensure the world’s farmers are equipped for long-term sustainable, climate-smart production.”
Axel Van Trotsenburg, acting chief executive officer, World Bank said that the World Bank is working with its partners to further agricultural research in Africa with the appropriate needed funds.
He said, “The World Bank is working towards a stepped-up effort on agricultural research in Africa. Towards this end, the Bank intends to work with its partners to develop an IDA financing package of $60 million for CGIAR-based institutions in Africa.”
He added, “Together with its on-going contributions, the Bank
could potentially provide support in the order of $150 million over the
next three years.”
It was revealed that proceeds from the financial commitments by various agencies will be used to support smallholders farmers in countries which hosts the world’s largest network of crop breeders focused exclusively on the needs of poor farmers. It will also be used in pioneering the development of a new generation of food crops that can endure drought, floods, higher temperatures and soils tainted with salt from rising seas.
Additional initiatives under the Commission’s Agriculture and Food
Security track, include: expanding access to climate-related digital
advisory services for at least 100 million small-scale producers by
2030; scaling up access for at least 100 million small-scale producers
to reach insurance, markets, finance, and productive safety nets; and
improving access to and use of adaptation technologies and
agroecological practices for 100 million small-scale producers.
Announcing part of the financial commitments at this year’s UN general assembly on climate action summit, were Bill Gates Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Global Commission Adaptation. Along with him were African leaders such as; Abdel Fattah Al Sissi Egyptian president, Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana with Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina, and David Malpass the World Bank group president.