In an interview at COP 20, Lima, with a speaker from Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA), who spoke on the issue of smallholder farmers having the simultaneous roles of ‘Risk’ and ‘Information’ managers in today’s farming environments with the added complexities and challenges of climate change as well.
In terms of farming systems, farmers need to make intelligent and informed decisions, with respect to aspects of investment, planning and harvesting which create the three main focus systems that farmers have to address simultaneously in their day to day business of farming, viz;
a. End to end business systems
b. Natural resource systems
c. Shock, Information and Vulnerability management systems
In terms of GMO’s (genetically modified organism), we do not see them as working in favour of the smallholder farmers at this point, therefore, we do not encourage or take an ideological stand on them, however, we do want these farmers to be better informed and more profitable, but more importantly, to be able to resist Climate Change in all it’s forms, and so far GMO’s have not delivered and are not the answer to current agricultural issues around the world, in our point of view. The main reason that we do not promote GMO’s is that all our exposure to and experience with this aspect of farming, has shown that it does not deliver greater profits for the smallholder farmer and certainly does not result in more resilient agriculture in the face of climate change. Smallholder farmers are non-supportive of the yield & unproven resilience of GMO crops – We do not see the value at this point!
As stated by Marco Marzano, Executive Director of the World Farmers’ Organisation, at COP 20, Lima, “Despite their important role in climate change adaptation processes, farmers’ involvement in global discussions on climate change are often very limited; and the voice of farmers’ are not always considered in decision-making processes that directly affect their work and lives.”