• Increasing productivity and income for 300,000 smallholder farmers;
• Improving business performance for 50 agribusiness SMEs and 30 cooperatives (of which at least 25% are managed by women and/or youth);
• Climate resilient sustainable food production practiced on 600,000 hectares.
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | With many countries across East Africa experiencing rising temperatures, unpredictable rainfall patterns, and an increasing number of extreme weather events such as floods and prolonged droughts, the CRAFT project recently held its first climate and agriculture seminar for financial institutions and financial service providers.
The seminar which was attended by 30 representatives was aimed at sensitising the financial sector about climate change and its related impacts on agricultural production and on their own agricultural investments/loans.
The seminar is part of the SNV led Climate Resilient Agribusiness for Tomorrow (CRAFT) project’s strategic engagement to create systems change by increasing collaboration and exchange among public-private actors for large scale roll out of Climate Smart Agriculture in East Africa. The overall aim is to increase the availability of climate smart foods for the growing population.
CRAFT is a five-year project (June 2018 – May 2023) implemented by SNV in partnership with Wageningen University and Research, CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, Agriterra, and Rabo Partnerships with funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The overall project goal is to contribute to increased availability of accessible and climate resilient food for the growing population in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda by delivering impact in the following areas;
Scientists from CGIAR’s Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security and Wageningen University and Research presented future climate projections and related crop modelling information for soybean in Uganda showing the likely changes in climate in terms of an increase in temperature, changes in precipitation and the implication on agricultural productivity that depends on rainfall.
Climate change, the scientists highlighted will impact all actors in the different value chains, including the financial institutions.
5 coops scoped in the soybean&simsim valuechains in Uganda by @Agriterra Uganda under #CRAFT project,the legumes play a key role in nitrogen fixing soil hence a #climatesmart crop for rotation @JustusTwebaze2 @AgriterraUG pic.twitter.com/fopcrTon3K
— Patrick kagathi (@Pmkagathi) October 19, 2019
In his opening remarks, Pierre Schonenberg, Senior Project Manager Agribusiness representing Rabo Partnerships, urged the financial institutions to take an active role in the green sustainability movement because they are key actors in agriculture.
“The CRAFT project through its Climate Innovation and Investment Facility has set aside funds to support bankable agribusinesses that have a social, environmental and economic benefit in the project targeted value chains. However we cannot do this on our own, we need both the agribusinesses and financial institutions to co-invest if we are to see sustainable results at scale,” Pierre added.
The key challenge highlighted by the financial institutions is how to incorporate climate smartness and sustainability in agribusiness financing. It was resolved that there is need for more purposeful engagement between the CRAFT project partners, with the financial institutions and service providers to develop innovative and targeted solutions for agricultural financing in light of the ever-changing climate.
Climate change will have far-reaching consequences not only for the agricultural sector, but also for the management of natural resources as well as the food security situation for the growing urban and rural population. Adoption of climate smart and ecologically sustainable production methods is key to improving productivity of the existing food crop production and supply systems.
The primary target groups of the project will include small and medium entrepreneurial farmers, SME agribusinesses, and service providers to these SMEs, as well as financial institutions and government agencies that play a key role in creating an enabling environment that can foster large-scale roll-out of climate smart agriculture in East Africa.