Smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs in the developing world are among those most affected by climate change — yet they are often the least equipped to protect against it. Without resources to combat threats like volatile weather patterns, worsening natural disasters, and crop and livestock diseases, these small-scale producers face lower incomes and higher risks as they struggle to earn a good living. Read the stories from this year on environmental sustainability that demonstrate how TechnoServe is meeting this challenge with a bold commitment to help create a people-, nature-, and climate-positive world.
How Smallholder Farmers are Threatened by Climate Change
Although climate change is a global threat, its effects will be felt differently around the world. Smallholder farmers are on the front lines of this crisis, which impacts every aspect of their daily lives — from the money they earn from their crops to the food they put on the table for their families. Learn about a few of the ways climate change is impacting these farmers and what TechnoServe is doing to help.
Improving Cattle Ranching Sustainability in Nicaragua
Three years ago, Gladys González took over the family cattle ranch in Nicaragua following the sudden death of her father-in-law. At the time, she was somewhat familiar with cattle, having grown up on a farm, but had limited knowledge of everything that goes into the successful management of a ranch.
As a result, her cows were not producing very much milk, and her production costs outweighed her profits. In 2018, soon after taking over management of the cattle ranch, Gladys joined a TechnoServe program that worked with over 800 ranchers in two departments of Nicaragua, helping them implement silvopastoral systems that would improve their environmental sustainability and resilience to climate threats while also increasing farm production and income.
How Tomato Farmers in Nigeria Improve the Environment and Their Incomes
In Nigeria, where roughly half of its important tomato crop is lost post-harvest each year, TechnoServe is helping smallholder tomato farmers to both improve their livelihoods and reduce food waste, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Farmers learn how to increase their tomato crop yields and also decrease post-harvest losses through heat-resistant seed varieties, staggered planting, and other techniques.
Three Big Ways to Reduce Small Farm Emissions
While many of the world’s smallholder farmers are most vulnerable to climate change, they can also be an important part of the solution. Smallholder agriculture accounts for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and there is much that farmers can do to both reduce their climate impact and improve their overall livelihoods. Here are three of the most effective ways to reduce emissions at the small farm level, based on TechnoServe’s experience working with smallholder farmers around the world.
Finding Alternatives to Expensive Fertilizer in Peru
The conflict in Ukraine sent fertilizer prices skyrocketing around the world. In Peru, fertilizer imports fell 84% in the first four months of 2022 relative to the totals over the same period the previous year. While this threatened crop yields, it also provided an opportunity for farmers to explore alternatives to synthetic fertilizers, which can often be better for the environment.
A group of farmers working with TechnoServe in Peru began producing biofertilizer, an organic and more environmentally friendly fertilizer option. Their story is one example of how farmer-focused environmental interventions can create tangible benefits even in times of crisis.
TechnoServe is committed to environmental sustainability by helping smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs in the developing world affected by climate change. You can help too. Join us as we serve the world’s most vulnerable together.