Climate change will affect large areas of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), mainly due to rising temperatures, variations in rainfall intensity and frequency, which will have an effect on productivity and the appearance of new pests and diseases. The most affected would be family farmers, who are the majority. On the other hand, it is estimated that in the next 30 years, the demand for food will increase due to population increase, income improvements and urbanization. Additionally, LAC is a net food exporter and is estimated to contribute increasingly to the global demand for food.
The effects will be different according to the subregions of the continent, with Mesoamerica, the Andean region and the Northeast of Brazil being the most affected. To meet these challenges, FONTAGRO, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the IDB established a regional project. Its objective was to promote the development and transfer of appropriate technologies that contribute to reducing vulnerability to climate change in the agricultural sector. The project had the following components: strengthening of regional networks in environmentally sound technologies, piloting technology transfer mechanisms, and leverageing public and private investments.
The project worked with a large number of national, regional and international agricultural research and innovation institutions, as well as with universities, non-governmental and private sector organizations, farmers associations and development agencies. The stated objectives were fully fulfilled and additional results were achieved thanks to the establishment of strong and broad partnerships.
- Progress, results and priority areas for the adaptation of family farming to climate change were reviewed in four symposia and four meetings with 272 scientists and authorities from 23 countries.
- 92 studies related to agriculture and climate change were reviewed, 35 experts were consulted and the impact of climate change was estimated under different scenarios. The most affected crops would be potatoes, wheat, tomatoes and beans and those favored pineapple and sorghum. 23 innovations for adaptation were identified, with emphasis on family farming: water use, soil management, microclimates, use of biodiversity, animal feeding, waste management.
- 11 cases of impact innovations for adaptation to climate change were documented and disseminated. Six received special recognition.
- Innovations were developed that resulted in greater productivity and efficiency, and reduction of environmental degradation and vulnerability of farmers in eight projects implemented in 11 countries. Topics include: rice, livestock, lupinus, coffee, cocoa, bananas, and climate smart agriculture.
- The regional platform for sustainable livestock intensification was established with 600 people from 25 countries. 483 professionals from 18 countries have been trained.
- Four studies were supported to leverage large investments to scale up the use of technologies in four countries.
It is estimated that more than 1000 scientists, professionals, policy makers, producers and entrepreneurs from more than 25 countries have benefited. Through the training offered in the different projects more than 6300 family farmers and technicians benefited.
Indirectly, it is estimated that more than 30,000 people will potentially benefit including scientists, professionals, policy makers, producers and entrepreneurs in the region.