PAFO-COLEAD Innovations Session 14: Climate-resilient practices and innovations in agri-food SMEs

The next Innovations Session n°14 will focus on Climate-resilient practices and innovations by agrifood SMEs and will be held online on Wednesday 30 August 2023, 12:00-14:00 UTC. Find out more in the programme and join the discussion (available in English, French and Portuguese) led by the Pan-African Farmers’ Organization (PAFO) and the COLEAD by registering here. 

During this Innovations Session n°14, agrifood farmers and entrepreneurs will present climate-resilient practices and innovations that they have developed to support the sustainability of both their businesses and natural resources. It is clear that the agricultural and food sectors contribute significantly to climate change, with activities leading to widespread degradation of land, water and ecosystems; high greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity losses. At the same time, agriculture is heavily affected by the impacts of climate change, for example with increased temperatures, changes in precipitation patterns and extreme weather events, impacting crop yields and their nutritional properties. In addition to these climatic risks, farmers (‘ organisations), cooperatives and micro, medium and small-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the agrifood  sector have to produce more food to meet the needs of growing rural and urban populations and to satisfy changing consumer demands. In this context, it is vital to produce in a different way so as to ensure food security, preserve natural resources, adapt to climate change, as well as satisfy changing consumer demands. 

A growing number of voices are calling for a complete transformation of our agricultural and food systems towards more sustainable food systems that deliver food security and nutrition without compromising the economic, social and environmental food resources for future generations. This transition requires the engagement of all stakeholders, including from policy, research, finance, the private sector and civil society organisations. Climate-resilient solutions are developed to fit a particular context, taking into account considerations such as specificities of each value chain and the geographic and climatic conditions. Globally, actors are engaging to develop these solutions through practices including soil fertility management, water management and soil erosion control, which are critical at the production level to use resources more efficiently. These practices also enable decreased dependance on seasonal external inputs, such as chemical fertilisers and pesticides, similarly to a diversification approach in crops and sectors. Other innovative solutions include reducing post-harvest losses throughout the supply chain by developing and implementing adapted handling, storage, processing and transport techniques. These are essential step to ensure that food,  and the resources used to grow them, is not wasted but fit for consumption. 

It is key for farmers, entrepreneurs, governments, researchers, development partners, and other citizens to engage and support (including with appropriate financial resources) the transition towards climate resilient, sustainable farming and food systems. Through the Innovations Series, the PAFO and the COLEAD intend to provide a platform for such discussion by gathering stakeholders from across the globe while strengthening the competitiveness of featured entrepreneurs. The session n°14 will feature African entrepreneurs who lead the green transition with successful climate-resilient practices and innovations to strengthen their economic sustainability while having positive or neutral impacts on the natural environment and benefiting local communities  – hence, they are creating business models that contribute to economic, environmental and social sustainability. By sharing their experiences, these entrepreneurs inspire others to seize business opportunities that preserve lands, improve livelihoods and encourage the adoption of natural and healthy food cultures. A panel of experts will present the perspective of policy, research and development in promoting climate resilience in agriculture and will provide additional insights of the existing ecosystems and resources that support farmers and entrepreneurs. 

Do not hesitate to register to the upcoming session and to share the link it within your network! 

Link to register here

This activity is supported by the Fit For Market Plus (FFM+) programme, implemented by COLEAD as part of the development cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU).

This publication is financially supported by the EU and the OACPS. Its content is the sole responsibility of COLEAD and cannot be considered to reflect the position of the EU or the OACPS.