Why smallholder farmers should be top of the bill at COP28

Why smallholder farmers should be top of the bill at COP28

Tuesday 30th May 2023 – Six months from now, the world will descend on Dubai for COP28. Unfortunately, every COP summit sees more time spent talking about the vulnerabilities of the Global South and the aid required. Or, off-setting solutions for the Global North. Nor do they focus enough on ensuring the resilience of those nations most affected by climate change or scaling active solutions that are succeeding, be it on a smaller scale, in countries that are leapfrogging industrialisation.

Building resilience in countries already suffering from extreme weather has many benefits: from the macroeconomic output of a country and its national food security, through to a family able to eat a meal together in a well-lit room. At Bboxx, we can see how climate change is already affecting the living conditions of our customers. Many of them are smallholder farmers1, who experience the impact of droughts or excess rainfall more painfully than anyone attending the discussions in Dubai this November. Extreme weather causes crops to fail, which can ruin a household’s income for an entire season. At Bboxx, we see the impact on our customers’ ability to pay and their product usage and we can see direct correlation between extreme weather conditions and these behavioural changes.

In defiance of these extreme conditions, many of the affected nations have chosen leapfrogging alternatives to the traditional industrialisation growth phase, preferring disruptive and renewable technologies to develop infrastructure and economic prosperity. Rwanda exemplifies this inspiring progress. Currently, more than half of Rwanda’s electricity is generated from renewable sources such as hydroelectric and solar power, and Bboxx itself provides electricity to 10% of Rwanda’s population. Rwandan communities are demonstrating a commitment to change at a grassroots level, with individual households taking responsibility for their own energy consumption.

However, this prosperity is closely tied to the weather; an increasingly unpredictable variable as commitments for lowering emissions are missed. For Bboxx, having a large proportion of the population as a customer, success starts to become correlated to the overall economic output of the country. If that economic output is correlated to the weather, which it is for countries with large agricultural sectors, then for companies like Bboxx resilience to extreme weather becomes an economic driver for the business. Resilience to weather needs to be developed both technically, financially and through policy, to give smallholder farmers a chance to have predictable growth.

This is where the attendees of COP28 have the power to make a difference and to give a voice to the empowering stories coming from Africa in particular. This could be through funding research into more resilient crop varieties, securing both income for farmers and food security for a nation. Ensuring a fair price for carbon credits produced in Africa would also have a huge impact. Carbon credits are not only an important economic tool, but also a moral one, to help ensure resilience for the poorest in the world who are most affected by climate change but have power as those who are closest to a net zero future.

At COP28, smallholder farmers need a voice – to promote their need for climate resilience, their need for clean, reliable energy, their fair share in the carbon market, and the role they play in global food security. Will you join us?

Mansoor Hamayun
Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of Bboxx

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1 – There are an estimated 33 million small holder farmers in Africa alone: https://www.ifad.org/thefieldreport/

About Bboxx

Bboxx is a super platform, transforming lives and unlocking potential by providing access to essential products and services across Africa. 

Bboxx is championing the economic empowerment of Africa, accelerating the transition to the digital economy, and creating new markets. We are connecting both underserved rural communities and aspiring urban ones with services including clean energy, clean cooking, smartphones, e-mobility and selected financial products, enabling African consumers to unlock their potential. 

We offer our customers a highly convenient and affordable way to access life-changing solutions, through last mile logistics and data-powered innovative financing methods. Bboxx has built a fully integrated operating system, Bboxx Pulse®, backed by an extensive on-the-ground distribution network, to offer our services on a pay-as-you-go basis to households, businesses and communities. 

Following the successful acquisition of solar energy frontrunner PEG Africa, Bboxx is now positively impacting the lives of more than 3.5 million people in 10 operating markets, directly contributing to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Bboxx and its group of companies is one of the largest networks in Africa, with over 4,000 staff across Africa and offices in the UK, and Asia.

For more information please contact:
Bboxx / Impact & Influence
Email: bboxx@impactandinfluence.global