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Accelerating Adaptation Finance for Smallholder Farmers in the Face of Climate Change

Sabrina Lee Sanchez July 13, 2022

Climate adaptation financing continues to fall woefully short of what is necessary to avoid severe impacts of the climate crisis, and in no sector is this more true than smallholder agriculture. While adaptation finance has increased by 35% in recent years, the needs for smallholder agriculture remain dramatically undermet, estimated at $240B annually. An additional $132B annually is needed to meet the financing needs of the agri-entrepreneurs who provide goods and services to smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa alone. Recently, a number of new innovative investment initiatives have sprung up to address this gap, with intentions to scale and accelerate adaptation investments into smallholder agriculture. This session, co-led by the Climate Policy Initiative and Acumen will showcase examples of exciting new initiatives that are tackling different aspects of this ecosystem. These include the Climate Shot for Impact Investment Coalition (CIIC), which is building the enabling environment for increased capital and impact; and the Acumen Trellis Initiative, which is directly deploying high-risk, early stage capital into enterprises and entrepreneurs serving smallholder farmers. Other initiatives intended to be featured include the Shell Foundation’s Catalyzing Agriculture by Scaling Energy Ecosystems (CASEE) programme expansion, which aims to unlock later stage capital needed to scale growth from DFIs and other institutional, climate finance investors by piloting new instruments at the transaction level, and Solidardad Network, one of the partners in the Agroforestry in Action Initiative (with Rabobank and Microsoft) which is connecting smallholder farmers to carbon markets for increased income generation. The session, broadly, will highlight the importance of tackling the adaptation financing problem with a wide and varied range of approaches, and how collaboration can facilitate accelerated and outsized impact.



Meta Themes

  • Accelerate Climate Action


Accountability, Reimagine Systems, Smallholder Farmers, Climate Adaptation Finance

Purpose and Desired Outcome

The goals of this session are to articulate the need for additional adaptation finance for smallholder farmers, raise awareness of the new Acumen Trellis Initiative and catalyze increased involvement in the Climate Shot for Impact Investment Coalition (CIIC).


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Government

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Asset Managers

  • Corporate & SME

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Accelerators & Incubators

  • Service Providers


  • NameChristopher Wayne
  • Titlessociate Director, Investing in Agriculture
  • OrganizationAcumen
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameDaniela Chiriac
  • TitleSenior Consultant, Climate Finance
  • OrganizationClimate Policy Initiative
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameFiona Hoffman-Harland
  • TitleBusiness Development Adviser and CASEE Programme Manager
  • OrganizationShell Foundation
  • StatusInvited
  • NameMichaelyn Baur
  • TitleManaging Director
  • OrganizationSolidaridad Network
  • StatusInvited
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