This research area is crucial to the impact pathway in that it frames many of the strategies for scaling up climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in support of ambitious national, regional and global goals. The rationale is that technical knowledge and availability of CSA technologies and practices are not sufficient to achieve the ambitious goals of mass CSA adoption of global and regional initiatives aligned to the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA). Business models, financial and other incentives need to be understood and leveraged to boost adoption levels and deliver scale out strategies that have the capacity to reach millions of farmers.

CSA has opened new opportunities for novel financial instruments to promote agricultural technology adoption, including from climate finance. This opens up questions about how new finance streams, and value-chain innovations might be best harnessed to deliver benefits to smallholder farmers and deliver on the outcomes of CSA.

Key research questions addressed include: 

  • What motivates the private sector to take up and promote CSA?
  • Which business models work for whom and when to support scaling up?
  • What is the potential of impact investment to incentivize equitable adoption of CSA technologies and practices at local levels through a value chain approach?
  • Is certification of climate-smartness a viable and marketable business model that delivers equitable benefits to farmers, and in so doing, promote adoption of CSA technologies and practices?
  • What other existing and innovative finance instruments exist (e.g. payment for ecosystem services) that will provide incentives to farmers?What are their efficacy in reaching and positively impacting the most marginalized (including women and youth)?
  • What risks arise from market access for smallholder farmers and what are effective strategies to mitigate these risks?

Insights generated from this research will inform CSA investment and increase the value for money of CSA investment by using appropriate gender-sensitive incentive mechanisms for adoption.