Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday unveiled $7 billion in private sector commitments to promote climate resilience, adaptation and mitigation in Africa, including climate-smart agricultural efforts.
“African nations have historically contributed relatively little to the climate crisis but are disproportionally harmed by its impacts,” the White House said in a news release announcing the new funding, which also includes money from the U.S. government “to expand access to climate information services and enhance climate resilience and adaptation.”
Among the largest climate-smart ag investments:
- SunCulture, an Africa-focused solar irrigation company, has promised to raise $100 million in private capital and $40 million in grant/subsidy funding “to deploy smallholder farmer solar irrigation to address food security in Kenya by 2028,” the release said.
- Mastercard is expanding access to its Community Pass platform to 15 million African farmers by 2027. According to the White House, the platform “is a shared interoperable digital platform that provides a commercially sustainable approach to scaling service delivery and increasing access to critical services including health care, agriculture, and micro-commerce, for individuals in underserved, remote, and frequently offline communities.”
- Ag agricultural insurance and technology company Pula “has committed to increase their coverage to 100 million smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa by providing up to $20 billion in insurance coverage by 2026.”
Other commitments to support climate-smart efforts for African producers come from the likes of Corteva Agriscience, One Acre Fund, Switch BioWorks, Land O’Lakes Venture 37, and McCormick.
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The Biden administration is also investing in the effort through several federal programs, including:
- The U.S. Africa Development Fund (USADF) has pledged up to $1.5 million in grant funding in FY23 for new and expanded USADF Off-grid Energy Challenges. Energy for agriculture is among the areas designed to benefit from the funding.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development's Famine Early Warning Systems Network has committed $10 million for new weather stations and capacity building over the next five years with 10 African governments, starting with Kenya.
“These new investments and initiatives will generate significant economic benefits while addressing African nations’ pressing needs resulting from the climate crisis, including food security challenges, by helping to lift up over 116 million farmers and promote climate-smart agriculture,” the White House said.
Harris made the announcement in Lusaka, Zambia.
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