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Fairtrade farmers in the fight against climate change

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

At the UN climate change conference COP18, Fairtrade is calling upon world leaders to ensure the most vulnerable get the support and finance needed to adapt to the growing impact of climate change on their farms and communities. Fairtrade coffee cooperative Manos Campesinas in Guatemala has seen their coffee yields halve over the past year. Hail and frost has destroyed tea plantations in the west of the Kenya, causing tea farmers to lose millions of Kenyan shillings. And in Kerala, India, 40 % less rainfall this year threatens to drastically reduce Fairtrade farmers’ rice yields. (Picture by Fairtrade International: Selena Obregon, Cecocafen coffee cooperative in Nicaragua)
 
For vulnerable farmers, climate change is a daily reality that threatens their source of livelihood: agriculture. At the same time, lower yields of staple crops are driving up food prices, threatening their ability to feed their families. Action is needed, and fast. Yet the voice of vulnerable farmers is too often overlooked in the climate change debate. Finance to adapt has been promised, but it is failing to reach those who need it most. At this year’s UN climate change conference in Doha from 26 November to 7 December 2012, Fairtrade farmers from three continents will speak at events and bring their voice and first-hand experience with climate change to the debate. Fairtrade staff will share their plans to develop standards for fair carbon finance that will support farmers to adapt to climate change and benefit from the carbon market.
 
“We are using the Fairtrade Premium to source seeds of indigenous and exotic trees that we want to plant in the area to improve the soil and attract more rain. It is possible for us to adapt to climate change if we get the right assistance,” says Wildfred Kasitomu, a small-scale tea farmer selling his crops to Satemwa Tea Estate, Malawi.

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Agriculture


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