Agriculture contributes to 14% of global (greenhouse gas) emissions making it a crucial sector that needs to urgently adopt sustainable, resilient and climate-smart solutions(Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).
Recent research indicates that challenges experienced in Africa such as climate change, human growth and consumer demands hinder the sustainable growth of the food and agricultural sector in the Sub Saharan region.
Investing in agricultural technologies has therefore proven to have the potential of reinventing the whole agricultural sector and it is likely to pave way for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Africa as a continent hence needs to speed up on innovations if strong adaptation measures, poverty alleviation and food security goals are to be met by 2030.
This means that both the private and public sectors have key roles to play to spark the transition to climate-smart practices which have the potential of increasing productivity in an environmentally, socially sustainable way and strengthening farmers’ resilience to climate change in Sub Saharan Africa.
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Considerable finance is needed to rapidly implement climate-smart agriculture with research, innovation and extension among startups and organizations being encouraged to promote climate-resilient development.
This can only be possible if different funding mechanisms are brought together by countries even though several existing financial mechanisms have been instrumental in supporting this sector.
Nevertheless, practices that are profitable and self-sustaining in the long run will need upfront finance to get off the ground. This calls for an increase in investment to enable African countries to access both existing and emerging climate finance mechanisms.
In Kenya for example, investment in the agricultural and water management sectors by Kenya Climate Ventures (KCV), have enabled impressive productivity increases and have powered what can be termed as “farming miracle.”
Several startups in the agricultural sector have benefited from this investment management company that seeks to accelerate the development of climate-smart solutions.
One such startup is the Exotic EPZ Limited, a company owned by three women who are passionate about rural smallholder farmers’ empowerment. The company engages farmers in the processing and export of macadamia nuts to Europe.
KCV believes that despite serious global challenges, there is still hope in elevating the agricultural sector to achieve global goals and even triple the world’s productivity.
What private and public sectors need to do in Africa is to demonstrate commitment to the multiple agendas of food security, adaptation and mitigation by stepping up investment support to climate-smart agriculture.