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Improving women smallholder farmers' resilience against natural disasters

Woman using the Buy From Women Platform in Mali. PHOTO: UN Women
Woman using the Buy From Women Platform in Mali.PHOTO: UN Women

Smallholder farmers are in the front line of being challenged by the impact of climate change. UN Women’s Buy From Women platform is designed to support the resilience of these farmers. They will now develop a disaster risk reduction tool to help the farmers cope with shocks.

What is the humanitarian challenge?

Smallholder farmers supply 80% of overall food produced in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America. With limited access to resources, infrastructure, and knowledge, smallholder farmers are on the front-line of being challenged by the impact of climate change, resulting in persistent problems to the livelihoods and disaster-triggered poverty traps.

 

What is innovative about this project?

UN Women started the ‘Buy From Women’ (BfW) Initiative in 2017. The Buy From Women platform is an open-sourced, mobile platform built to digitise women smallholder farmers’ businesses in most marginalised regions. The objective is to provide them with better access to information, market, and land. During the piloting phase, a recurring concern expressed by women was their difficulty in coping with climate disasters. Their income streams would be dramatically cut off when disaster happens, which makes it extremely difficult to buy necessities or pay tuitions. With this project, UN Women aims to test how to include a women-centred Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and resilience building tool to the BfW platform, which includes looking into insurance. It has traditionally been challenging to make agricultural insurance commercially viable, yet without insurance, farmers are highly vulnerable to shocks, given the inevitability of environmental hazards and increased unpredictability brought on by climate change. This project will cover three pilot countries: Liberia, Malawi and Haiti.

 

What are the expected outcomes?

UN Women aims to develop solutions in two major areas: insurance and mobile-based disaster risk reduction features. The main objective is to partner with the private sector to improve smallholder farmers’ resilience against climate disasters.