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Climate adaptation opportunities for rural youth

Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme is a unique fund because it caters for rural populations across the globe. Let's explore.
Tents and cattle in rural Mongolia
© University of Groningen

What is the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP)?

The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) is administered by the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD). IFAD is an international financial institution and specialized United Nations agency based in Rome.

Since 1978, they have provided US$22.4 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached an estimated 512 million people.

The ASAP supports smallholder farmers in scaling up climate change adaptation in rural development programmes. From 10 donors, ASAP has received about 300 million dollars in contributions. It assisted rural communities in 43 countries to cope with the impacts of climate change.

Rural populations across the globe

There are rural populations in both developing and developed countries. Often these regions are overlooked when it comes to development. ASAP is a unique fund because it caters for rural populations across the globe.

These populations often rely on agriculture which is threatened to different extents by climate change.

Objectives of ASAP

The Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme has several objectives. These are as follows:

  • policy engagement –supporting agricultural institutions in the IFAD Member States seeking to achieve international climate change commitments and national adaptation priorities;
  • climate risk assessment – facilitating the systematic use of climate risk information when planning investments to increase resilience;
  • women’s empowerment – increasing the participation of women in, and their benefits from, climate-change adaptation activities;
  • private-sector engagement – strengthening the participation of the private sector and farmer groups in climate change adaptation and mitigation activities;
  • climate services – enhancing the use of climate information when planning investments to increase resilience;
  • natural resource management and governance – strengthening the participation and ownership of smallholder farmers in decision-making processes; and improving technologies for the governance and management of climate-sensitive natural resources;
  • knowledge management – enhancing the documentation and dissemination of knowledge on approaches to climate-resilient agriculture.

Unique characteristics of ASAP

IFAD also focuses on youth. Please see this video that summarizes IFAD’s work with youth in developing countries.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

Anti-corruption policy

Another characteristic of IFAD is its clearly defined anti-corruption policy. The policy is easily accessible on its website and it states which practices are prohibited. This is necessary especially when working in countries with weaker administrative institutions.

The organisation has annual reports on anti-corruption and procedures for whistle-blowers.

Opportunities for the youth to engage

Developing countries also have local opportunities for the youth to engage in climate adaptation. This link shows a photo story of an initiative in Ghana.

If you’d like to learn more about climate adaptation, check out the full online course, from The University of Groningen, below.

© University of Groningen
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