Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has partnered with the Cooperative Partnership for Climate Smart Food and Forestry, which incorporates the agriculture, forestry and cooperative organizations of Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland (World Farmers Organization (WFO) members the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC), the Dutch Agriculture and Horticulture Organization (LTO), the Finnish forestry partner MTK (The Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners) and the Dutch Young Farmers (NAJK), and the Dutch Agri-development agency and cooperative specialist Agritera.
The partnership aims to develop a USD30 million Green Climate Fund (GCF) project that will assist farmers’ cooperatives and other value chain actors to access climate resilient technologies to increase their climate resilience. The project will restore the degraded agriculture landscapes and the ecosystem and ecosystem services in Western Kenya.
On 2nd November 2021, FAO’s Deputy Director General Elizabeth Bachdol signed bilateral Contribution Agreements with the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC) and Agriterra to develop a Concept note, feasibility study and a project proposal for a GCF project in Kisumu County. This will be financed with an initial budget of USD 42 million.
The project proposal being developed covers an estimated area of 200,000 hectares, 1 million farmers and a strong cooperative sector. Farmer cooperatives are set to take a leading role in the implementation as change actors for climate action.
Kenya, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands have strong cooperative movements. The cooperatives occupy a strategic position in the value chains, which makes it particularly suitable for climate action. Cooperatives which appoint cooperative management to take business decisions and add value to their produce. Hence cooperative management is well positioned and has the legitimacy and trust needed to drive and enforce a climate smart and green transition amongst farmers
FAO Kenya Representative, Carla Mucavi said that,
“While smallholders and producer cooperatives may be the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, they offer critical solutions and are change actors to the challenges of climate change. They therefore need strong financial and technical support.”
“Global partnerships are key to tackling climate challenge. Danish farmers and our strong cooperatives have knowledge and technological expertise on climate smart food production that can help developing countries. With FAO we have found an excellent partner to jointly deliver on the call for action from COP26 and mobilise more global climate finance for climate action in agriculture and forestry. This is an ambitious climate and business agenda that we set out in Kenya and call it the Cooperative Partnership for Climate Smart Food and Forestry,”
said Flemming Nør-Pedersen acting CEO of DAFC.
"To solve the global climate challenge, we need to work together through partnerships. Agriterra firmly believes that by empowering cooperatives in developing economies to become more climate smart in agriculture, horticulture and livestock production, developing economies can deliver on their country commitments in agriculture and forestry. Through our Dutch, Danish and Finnish Partnership, and together with FAO, we are ready to contribute to this important global challenge, starting in Kenya,"
said Agriterra CEO Marco Schouten.
COP26 raises the global ambition level for climate action in agriculture and forestry. Pledges in Glasgow on the initiatives to reduce emissions in agriculture and forestry – on methane and deforestation – are estimated to lower temperature increase by 0.6 degrees.