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Helping smallholder farmers mitigate climate change

Published by:
Online Location
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Climate / Weather / Environment
Type of Risk:
Weather & Climate related
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk reduction/mitigation
Wollenberg, Eva K.Higman SSeeberg-Elverfeldt, CNeely, ConstanceTapio-Bistrom, M.L.Neufeldt, Henry
CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security

Key messages:

  • Smallholder farmers can contribute significantly to climate change mitigation but will need incentives to adapt their practices.
  • Incentives from selling carbon credits are limited by low returns to farmers, high transaction costs, and the need for farmers to invest in mitigation activities long before they receive payments.
  • Improved food security, economic benefits and adaptation to climate change are more fundamental incentives that should accompany mitigation.
  • Designing agricultural investment and policy to provide up-front finance and longer term rewards for mitigation practices will help reach larger numbers of farmers than specialized mitigation interventions.