World Resource Institute

Agriculture and Food Security Action Track

For more information or to get involved, please contact Cristina Rumbaitis Del Rio and Bruce Campbell.


The call to “Adapt Now” – as spelled out in the Global Commission on Adaptation’s landmark report – is nowhere more pertinent than in the agricultural sector, given that production is intimately tied to weather. Climate change is already negatively impacting the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable farmers and exacerbating insecurity. The challenge of surviving these climate shocks is most severe for small-scale agricultural producers who are often the most exposed to climate impacts and have the least access to resources.

The Commission’s Agriculture and Food Security Action Track calls for a large-scale, international mobilization over the coming decade to ensure small-scale producers are resilient to climate change.

Action Track Goal

By 2030, 300 million small-scale agricultural producers in low- and middle-income countries enhance their resilience to a changing climate, including climate shocks and extreme events, increase household incomes and food security, and reverse ecological decline — in line with multiple SDGs.

The Commission is mobilizing a wide range of partners to achieve this goal by pursuing four main activities in 2020. Partners include development organizations, smallholder farmers’ associations, government agencies, businesses, and other organizations from around the world.

1. Mobilize research and development for climate resilience 

We will advocate for increased resources to provide the necessary research, development, and innovation needed to build resilience of small-scale producers and guide planning and investment in adaptation. We will support CGIAR’s development of a demand-led research program, which will focus on the research needs of eight geographic hot spots (the “Two Degree Initiative”) and help build diverse partnerships to deliver on its ambitious research agenda. We will also support CGIAR in strategically embedding climate change in its next 10-year $12 billion research strategy for climate action.

Key 2020 deliverable

At least $1 billion of support committed to the CGIAR and launch of the CGIAR 10-year strategy for climate action.

Long-term target

Double the scale of agricultural research through the CGIAR to support 200 million small-scale producers to adapt their farming systems, livelihoods, and landscapes by 2030.

2. Expand access to climate-informed digital agricultural advisory services

We will develop an investment blueprint for scaling up digital tools to empower 300 million farmers and local agribusinesses to become more resilient through real-time advisories, seasonal forecasts, index-based insurance, market intelligence, and early warning systems. The blueprint will be developed in partnership with governments, climate information providers, private sector advisory services, telecom organizations, civil society, and humanitarian organizations.

Key 2020 deliverable

Investment blueprint developed to scale up digital advisory services to 300 million small-scale producers.

Long-term target

300 million small-scale producers have access to the information and resources needed to implement measures to increase their own resilience.

3. Scale up access to insurance, markets, finance, and productive safety nets

We will help catalyze public and private investment in climate resilient value chains and enterprises, innovative risk mitigation models, productive safety nets, and financing mechanisms to unlock private finance for agriculture, value chain development, and sustainable land use. For example, a plan to scale up Africa Improved Foods to 10 countries will be rolled out.

Key 2020 deliverable

At least one major public-private partnership launched to scale up investment in smallholder-based, climate resilient value chains.

Long-term target

Increased access for at least 100 million small-scale producers to insurance, markets, finance, and productive safety nets.

4. Improve access to and use of adaptation technologies and agroecological practices

We will scale up efforts to improve access to appropriate adaptation technologies — with a focus on agroecological practices tailored to individual needs. These technologies will deliver sustainable increases in agricultural productivity, expand rural entrepreneurship, and enhance the livelihoods of small-scale producers.

Key 2020 deliverable

Agroecological practices mainstreamed into the public-private partnership under activity #3.

Long-term target

Improve access to and use of adaptation technologies and agroecological practices for 100 million small-scale producers.

Key Events and Milestones

Below are select key milestones and events for 2020, where Commissioners and partners can engage and support the Action Track. Partners can engage by providing technical, political, or financial support that contributes to the Action Track goals, and by helping amplify the initiatives. Partnerships are essential to the success of this Action Track, and we welcome new partners.

  • A series of listening sessions will be held in Q1 2020 to inform development of CGIAR “Two Degree Initiative” in select geographic hotspots.
  • Adaptation Futures – New Delhi, India – April 27- May 1, 2020
    • Consultation on digital farmer advisory services
  • International Climate Services Conference 6 – Pune, India – February 10-14
    • Consultation on Investment Blueprint for Climate Informed Digital Farmer Advisory Services
  • Climate Investors Meeting, hosted by PKA – Copenhagen, Denmark – May 19-20
  • SDG 2 Days – Berlin, Germany – June 5-10
    • GCA Session on Agriculture and Food Security under a changing Climate
    • CGIAR System Council Meeting
  • Adaptation Summit – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Oct. 22
    • Select final deliverables to be launched
  • COP26 – Glasgow, UK – Nov. 9-19
    • Select final deliverables to be launched

Current Partners

  • African Development Bank
  • The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  • Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • BMZ
  • BRAC
  • CAB International (CABI)
  • CGIAR
  • DSM
  • Esoko
  • Global Environment Facility
  • InsuResilience Global Partnership
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), Columbia University
  • Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (SACAU)
  • UK Department for International Development
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • World Bank
  • World Food Programme
  • World Meteorological Organization