The Development FundSupports small scale farmers in their fight against hunger and poverty

AgroBiodiversity and Climate Adaptation- ABC-

The ABC programme targets 40 thousand poor farmers, agro-pastoralist women and indigenous groups from the Horn of Africa, Central America and South Asia. Improving adaptive capacity of these vulnerable groups is the ultimate goal of the programme.

To reach our goal, locally adapted innovations are promoted in order to improve living conditions of target groups, but also to better prepare them to tackle climate threats, which are affecting their current and future livelihoods.

ABC also promotes policy changes towards securing the rights of indigenous groups, women, farmers and agro pastoralist to participate in decisions that affect agriculture and food security at the country level. Development Fund facilitates participation of these groups in working groups and commissions at the national level, to ensure that their views are heard and that benefits reach the small-scale farmers. In Norway, DF advocates for Norway to play a leading role to support Climate Adaptation initiatives and to contribute to funding mechanism such as Climate Adaptation Funds to developing countries and that these funds should really address the needs of most vulnerable groups.

Agrobiodiversity on farm: use it or loose it

Agrobiodiversity is fundamental for food security, incomes and adaptation capacity of farmers. However, crop and animal genetic diversity is disappearing from the farmers’ fields. Community seed banks and farmers’ seed production are some of the innovations being promoted to maintain active use of genetic diversity on-farm. Through Participatory Variety Selection, farmers learned to systematically select and produce seeds that give good yields even in lower than optimal environment, and which are more resistant to diseases and extreme weather variations. Other characteristics such as flavour, cooking quality for different purposes can also be taken into account. Community seed bank improves seed security in a community, by providing poor farmers who might not be able to save enough seeds from previous seasons or who experienced catastrophe due to weather or other reasons to have access to quality seeds when needed.  Community seed bank also strengthen conservation of genetic diversity in the fields, complementary to conservation in a genebank. DF’s method is to link community seed banks to national gene banks to optimize use and conservation of genetic diversity.

Climate adapted villages

Knowing how climate change will likely affect farming and preparing small-scale farmers to meet this challenge with more robust agriculture is important for food security. Climate adapted villages approach contains three main steps: To know; raising communities awareness and knowledge on climate change and its impacts, To Do; planning measures to mitigate climate threats To Sustain; building governing structure which will oversee implementation of adaptive actions at a collective level and advocate support from relevant authorities.

Climate Adapted Village is based on participatory approach where information, planning and governing decisions were made collectively.

Read more about Climate Adapted Villages here

Policy environment for climate robust agriculture and food security: Promoting changes in laws and regulations that hinder farmers’ access to seeds is crucial to reduce vulnerability of small-scale farmers.  Policies and national laws and regulations that facilitate the establishment of community seed banks, effective distribution of good quality seeds to poor farmers, and policies that promote use of genetic diversity on-farm are some of the key policies that the Development Fund and its partners advocate for.    Making the voice of poor farmers, agro-pastoralists, women and indigenous groups be heard at the national and international level is an important step towards better policy environment.

Advocacy in Norway to increase funds to on farm conservation of genetic resources (in-situ conservation) and climate adaptation that benefits small-scale farmers: Norway contributes positively to ex-situ conservation of genetic resource through its support of the international seed bank in Svalbard. DF advocates that Norway also plays a key role to promote in-situ conservation of genetic resource by supporting establishment of more community seed banks and the linkage between community seed banks and national gene banks.  We also advocate that Norway increases funding to Climate Adaptation initiatives such as Climate Adaptation Funds in developing countries addressing the needs of most vulnerable groups.

Partner organizations

Nepal: Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD)
Guatemala: Asociacion de Organizaciones de los Cuchumatanes (ASOCUCH)
The Philippines: Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE)
Ethiopia: Ethio- Organic Seed Action (EOSA)
Malawi: Trustee of Agriculture Promotion Program (TAPP)
Organisation for Participation and Meaningful Development (OPAD)
Zambia: Kasisi Agricultural Training Center (KATC)
Malawi: Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA)
Biodiversity Conservation Initiative (BCI)
Ethiopia: Ethio-Wetlands and Natural Resources Association (EWNRA)
Ethiopia: Movement for Ecological Learning and Community Action (MELCA)
Sri Lanka: Green Movement of Sri Lanka (GMSL)
International: Association for Plant Breeding for the Benefit of Society (APBREBES)
International: No Patents on Seed