The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has recently approved initial funding of US$2.6 million to create the Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Environment (SAFE) platform, which will implement projects that will enable 150,000 smallholder farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean to capture more value from their participation in national and global supply chains, fostering their resilience to climate change and other external factors.
More than half of the food produced in the Latin American and Caribbean region comes from 14 million smallholder producers across the region, 35% of whom rely solely on agricultural activities for their livelihood, and many of whom live in high-poverty rural areas. Despite the key role small producers play in the global food value chain, they continue to face a number of challenges hindering them from capturing greater value from supply chains, including low productivity, lack of access to key market information, weak links to local, regional, and global markets, insufficient business and financial management skills to implement more sustainable climate-smart production systems, and lack of access to long-term finance.
The platform will leverage existing knowledge, expertise, and resources from all its members in order to implement a series of projects that will seek to pilot or scale up innovative value chain approaches. It will initially work with coffee and cocoa producers, and later will include other crops with replication potential. The two sub-regions that the project will initially focus on are Central America and the Andean region, where the founding members and the MIF believe interventions can achieve greater impact.