“Bringing a positive message from farmers to the negotiations”

nov 30, 2012



by Cecilia Schubert

What would smallholder farmers’ from around the world say if they got the opportunity to join the current climate negotiations in Doha? What type of results would they like to see come out of the conference? James Kinyangi, Regional Program Leader for the East Africa program of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), discusses in this video interview what we can do to make sure that the smallholder farmers' voices are heard around the negotiating table, and what they need and want from the conference.

Right now farmers are working under a changing, variable climate, where they face uncertain markets. Practices are changing together with norms and institutions. Soils are not as fertile as they used to be, hence productivity is not like before. James is adamant that when speaking on smallholders’ behalf, representatives should bring a positive message from the farmers. They should let negotiators know that "farmers are working hard, but working under difficult conditions".

"Farmers are doing their best to make sure that the food security goal of the population is met,” James says, but conditions are difficult under a variable climate. “And it is going to be much more difficult in the future." Therefore, “we need to bring the message here in Doha that now is the time for urgent action.”

What smallholder farmers’ thus need is a deal on agriculture. But do they want a deal at any cost? We need to ask ourselves what an agriculture programme can, and should contain, in order to benefit smallholder farmers. James Kinyangi explains exactly what a programme should include that makes sure smallholder farmers’ needs are met in the video above. Take a look!

Cecilia Schubert is a communications assistant at the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Read more updates from the climate conference on our blog. Follow @Cgiarclimate and @Agricultureday on Twitter for the latest news.