Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have jointly announced a new strategic partnership called 'Nanmo' under which they jointly pledged up to $200mn to support smallholder farmers and their communities in African countries.
Nanmo or “growing together” will invest in climate-adaptive agriculture tools and technologies, to build resilient food systems and markets that provide nutrition, income and economic opportunities to small-scale producers in drylands on the African continent, who are bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change.
The announcement was made by HE Khalifa al-Kuwari, director-general of QFFD, and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in the presence of Mark Suzman, CEO of the Foundation, during a panel discussion at the Doha Forum 2022 Sunday.
The partnership will aim to strengthen economies throughout the Global South via four key areas, namely equity as a primary driver of inclusive growth, enterprise as a means of job creation and poverty alleviation, agriculture as a primary source of food, jobs and income in Sub-Saharan Africa, and provision of access to technologies, financial tools, and emerging best practices as a driver of productivity, nutrition and climate adaptation.
The partnership will also seek to ensure women small-scale producers positively contribute to and benefit from decisions about how their communities grow food and create jobs.
The project will support climate-adaptive tools, practices, policies and markets as sustainable drivers of resilient food systems that provide nutrition, income, and economic opportunities to small-scale producers and their communities. It will also include systems-level research and country-level implementation to adapt to local environments.
Gates addressed the gathering through a video message and said, “Today, I am happy to announce a joint partnership with QFFD for $200mn focused on agriculture, climate resilience and economic development.
“Our foundation has adopted climate adaptation a priority. Hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are already seeing their livelihoods threatened by higher temperatures and changing weather patterns. We’re building on our longstanding collaboration with QFFD to help these farmers adapt. Together, we can prevent millions of people from falling into poverty and hunger due to climate change and increase agricultural yields to jumpstart equitable economic growth where it’s most needed."
Al-Kuwari said, “We are thrilled to be announcing a new initiative in collaboration with our strategic partner, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, titled Nanmo, which aims at ensuring that sustainable development goals are met everywhere.
“We have high hopes that these valuable partnerships will expand our efforts to improve the lives of vulnerable communities, ensuring their economic security against the backdrop of this ever-evolving planet."
One of the first projects funded by Nanmo will focus on improving the livelihoods of low-income women farmers in a number of African countries, working with the World Poultry Foundation to provide them with improved breeds of chicken for egg and meat production.
The partnership will also fund projects with a clear path to achieving impact across multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty alleviation, agricultural transformation, nutrition and youth and women’s and youth economic empowerment. Investments like these are especially important at a time when conflict in one part of the world can threaten food security across the globe.
For her part, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gate Foundation Melinda French said the agricultural sector contributes to economic growth, but it does not automatically benefit society equally. "The Nanmo initiative is not only limited to protecting the agricultural sector from climate change, but also empowering small farmers, including millions of women, to lift themselves out of poverty and invest in a better future for their families and communities," she added.
(With inputs from QNA)
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