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Case for private sector, climate-smart smallholder farming

Genesis was engaged by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to research a business case for engaging the private sector in designing and delivering climate-smart solutions.

The research was to inform the design and implementation of the CTA’s new flagship project on climate change, Promoting Climate-Resilient Agrifood Solutions for Cereals and Livestock Farmers in Southern Africa.

The project aims to scale up four proven climate-resilient agrifood solutions (CRS) to increase food security, nutrition and income for smallholder farm households under changing climate conditions. It identified successful agribusiness models for private-sector engagement in the four CRS. Implementation will focus on Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The findings presented compelling evidence of win-win outcomes from private-sector investments that unlocked access to technology (e.g. drought-tolerant seed varieties and livestock breeds), finance, markets, information, insurance and other risk-management tools that build resilience of smallholder farmers.

By helping farmers increase productivity, stabilise yields, improve quality, reduce production costs and transfer risk (through insurance), such investments are helping businesses stabilise supply (or demand in the case of suppliers), increase trade volumes and capacity use, access better products, lower transaction costs and minimise contractual defaults while building trust and a better understanding of the smallholder context. Governments and aid agencies also benefit from reduced need for safety nets and disaster recovery costs. Such partnerships create new commercial opportunities for service providers.

Following our report and presentation at the programme’s regional conference in May 2016, the CTA and its partners resolved that their interventions would be anchored in inclusive private private-sector partnerships with farmers on a sustainable basis for deliver climate-smart solutions.

One of CTA’s implementing partners in this project, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), is discussing long-term cooperation (beyond the current CTA-funded project) with Genesis to support the design and implementation of climate-smart solutions anchored in private-sector/farmer partnerships.

The implementation of CTA’s flagship project was scheduled for 2016. It is expected to incorporate significant elements from our research. This should result in more sustainable climate-smart solutions that unlock value for farmers, agribusinesses, governments, the development community and service providers.

Final report: Business case for engaging the Private Sector in Climate Smart Solutions for smallholder farmers

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