Across Southern Africa, smallholder outgrower farmers are extremely vulnerable to climate change impacts, such as drought and floods. With climate projections forecasting extreme events such as flooding and longer dry spells leading to drought, their vulnerability becomes even more critical. In the sugar sector particularly, large corporates such as Illovo have recognized the business risk they face when smallholder farmers have low capacity to withstand climate shocks.
Illovo, together with CRIDF+, conceived the project in an effort to find opportunities to mitigate the climate risks faced by smallholder outgrower farmers. We were approached to support Illovo to forge new partnerships with their outgrower farmers, taking into consideration their climate-related risks. Our process included numerous engagements with the stakeholders in developing a climate vulnerability assessment and response tool. Constant iteration amongst stakeholders has continued to ensure value throughout the process. Through the tool, opportunities to invest in smallholder adaptive capacity have become clear.