Innovation and technology play important roles in addressing the need for climate-smart agriculture that can increase productivity and build resilient food systems.
But how can we persuade governments and the private sector to invest in these climate-smart agricultural technologies?
In 2016, the Cracking the Nut conference, a participatory learning event designed to crack the “tough nuts” in international development, explored this quandary through the track “Encouraging Investment in Climate-Smart Agriculture.” This track featured six different presenters who provided insights in their climate-smart approaches.
One presenter, Shankar Bhattarai, then with SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in Nepal, highlighted climate-smart mountain agriculture techniques in Nepal. By engaging a range of local stakeholders throughout the assessment and planning process, the project determined that snow harvesting was the most practical and cost-effective solution to irrigate locally grown apple trees, particularly when it was combined with the use of thick mulching to retain the moisture in the soil.
When bundled with crop insurance and contract agreements with buyers, farmers were able to receive financing from the banks to invest in the infrastructure for this approach. By the end of the project, SNV had strengthened the climate-smart agriculture practices of more than 600 farmers, which increased the yield and quality of apples, improved market linkages and supported the creation of a processing plant for apple wine.
The conference highlighted other innovative projects, which used climate data and analysis, gender-sensitive approaches, public-private partnerships, bottom-up engagement, and diversification to stimulate investment in climate-smart agriculture. These lessons from on-the-ground work are captured in the resulting conference publication.
In 2018, Cracking the Nut will again take up the topic of climate change and climate-smart approaches, this time with an emphasis on promoting technology adoption and resilience. The conference will also look at sustainable natural resource use and using digital platforms to facilitate knowledge and finance. We invite your organization to submit a proposal by December 22, 2017 to present at Cracking the Nut. Your organization’s use of pioneering technologies and approaches could be showcased in front of top industry leaders on June 12-13, 2018 in Antigua, Guatemala at this year’s conference.
Cracking the Nut is organized by Connexus Corporation, a boutique, woman-owned consulting firm, specializing in rural and agricultural finance and enterprise development. The 2018 event will mark the 9th Cracking the Nut event, as Connexus continues its commitment to facilitating learning in development work.
Liuben is a Project Associate at Connexus Corporation, contributing to logistical and administrative support for current and potential projects and consultants. Prior to joining Connexus, Liuben worked at Diamax Information Systems, where he assisted on digital media and strategy projects in the public and private sector, and providing operational support to the senior team. His interest in development evolved from his experience in youth education, international cultural exchanges, and a personal love for travel and communication. He has previously worked for the Embassy of France in Washington, DC and the French Ministry of Education. Liuben received his Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service with a concentration in Culture and Politics from Georgetown University and is fluent in French and Bulgarian.
Shannon is a Senior Project Associate at Connexus where she provides logistical support for ongoing and potential projects. She started her work in development as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin where she worked extensively with village savings and loans associations as well as women’s garden groups, helping develop their financial and organizational capacity. Most recently, she took her knowledge of savings and loans associations to the Dominican Republic where she worked for a small NGO to strengthen their existing groups and establish a strategy for expanding to additional communities. Shannon holds a Masters in International Studies from Oklahoma State University and is fluent in French with working proficiency in Spanish.