One of the strengths that sets the Lab apart from other climate finance incubators is the diversity and involvement of its membership. While the Lab team provides analytical rigor, networking opportunities and management support to nurture Lab-endorsed instruments, the Lab is ultimately a member-driven initiative. Its 60 members including some of the largest and most influential public, philanthropic and private organizations in sustainable development and impact investing.
One of the core members and funding partners of the Lab is The International Fund for Agricultural Development: IFAD.
Founded in 1978, IFAD is an international financial institution and a United Nations specialized agency based in Rome – the UN food and agriculture hub. Since its inception, IFAD has provided US$22.4 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached an estimated 512 million rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience.
About IFAD and the Lab
There is an urgent need to spur greater investment into the sustainable agriculture sector, particularly for smallholder farmers who are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. However, current investments in adaptation constitute only a fraction of what is needed. According to CPI’s Global Landscape of Climate Finance report, only 5% of total climate finance can be attributed to adaptation activities, and that’s across all sectors.
Understanding how innovative climate finance solutions are a significant catalyst to increasing public and private finance to promote sustainable and resilient agriculture practices with smallholder farmers globally, IFAD joined the effort to build the Lab’s expertise in sustainable agriculture.
Through the second phase of its Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP), IFAD has funded the Lab’s sustainable agriculture for smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa work stream since 2018. IFAD’s contribution goes well beyond funding. IFAD advisors are actively involved in screening submissions to the Lab, identifying the most promising ideas, and providing technical guidance to turn those ideas into action.
Endorsed by the Lab members in September 2019, the Blockchain Climate Risk Crop Insurance and The West African Initiative for Climate-Smart Agriculture are the first two IFAD-supported projects currently benefitting from IFAD’s active involvement. In the Lab’s 2020 cycle, IFAD is an active member in guiding two selected sustainable agriculture ideas: the Land Accelerator Bond which focuses on sub-Saharan Africa, and the Conexsus Impact Fund, which focuses on Brazil.
To learn more about IFAD’s global impact on adaptation for smallholder farmers, visit Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme.