The Small Farmers Climate Adaptation Fund (SMAF), aims at developing and delivering climate adaptation solutions designed to increase smallholder farmers resilience to climate change, and at the same time improve their productivity, income generation capacity, and living conditions. The SMAF will work through a group of microfinance institutions (MFIs), in seven Latin American countries with a combination of financial support and technical assistance.
The SMAFʼs initial target countries are Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Perú. It is estimated that close to 4 million smallholder farmers, with farms of 5 hectares or less, are located in rural areas of these seven countries.
SMAF is a triple bottom line project which:
1. Provides its investors with positive returns,
2. Improves the socio-economic conditions and resilience of 20,000 smallholder farmers,
3. Helps the environment by introducing sustainable agriculture techniques in small farms.
Some of the main features behind the SMAF are explained through the following frequently asked questions:
A farmer involved in the production of crops and livestock whose productive land measures five hectares or less.
According to the UN, 70% of the food produced globally comes from smallholder farmers. As stated by FAO, global food production will need to increase 60% by 2050 to feed over 9,5 billon people. Therefore, it is paramount to help smallholder farmers adapt to climate change.
Climate change increases temperatures and the frecuency and magnitude of extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, floods, winter storms, hurricanes and forest fires (IPCC).
Climate change has negative consequences at the farm level by intensifying pests and diseases in crops and animals, as well as producing heat waves and alternative periods of drought and heavy rains that reduce yields and increase crop and animal losses.
Climate adaptation measures are low cost investments in equipment, infrastructure, and cultural practices that help protect smallholder farmers against the negative effects of climate change by building resilience and at the same time increasing their yields and income levels.
Some MFIs with significant rural operations are already working with smallholder farmers providing loans for working capital and equipment, have developed a deep understanding of the needs and conditions of smallholderfarmers, and have established effective agricultural lending methodologies. This places them in a strategic position to, with the SMAF ́s support, introduce climate adaptation products and guide smallholder farmers in their implementation.
The SMAFʼs initial target countries are Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Perú. It is estimated that close to 4 million smallholder farmers are located in rural areas of these seven countries.
Through a group of 20 MFIs in seven countries in Latina America, the SMAF is expected to benefit a total of 20,000 smallholder farmers.
By having a strong demonstration effect and replication possibilities, the SMAF´s concept has strong scalability potential in other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in other regions of the world.
Smallholder farmers would receive financing and technical assistance in the implementation of climate adaptation measures that would make their farming activities more resilient to changes in climate. Smallholder farmers would also increase their productivity, reduce losses, increase income, and, in general, make their activities more sustainable.
Participating MFIs would gain in terms of exposure to climate smart agriculture, thus improving their risk analysis capabilities and expanding/diversifying their portfolio through the introduction of new lending products. MFIs would also be able to reduce the risk of their agriculture portfolio by introducing climate-based credit risk methodologies.
The SMAF main targeted goals are based in the achievement of two major medium to long-term-term impacts: i) more resilient farms, and ii) improvements in the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and their families. The SMAF proposes to achieve these medium to long-term impact goals through the following theory of change:
Through its support of smallholder farmers in rural areas of certain developing countries in Latin America, the SMAF aims at working towards the following United Nations sustainable development goals (SDGs):