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Nobel Laureate Kremer, Bill Gates, And UAE Minister Announce New Food System Mechanism

By Outlook Planet Desk December 07, 2023

COP 28: The mechanism supports agriculture and food security innovations, improving resilience and mitigating emissions

Nobel Laureate Kremer, Bill Gates, And UAE Minister Announce New Food System Mechanism
Digital agriculture allows timely, inexpensive, and customised delivery of this information to help boost farmers' resilience. Shutterstock
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Michael Kremer, the 2019 economics Nobel laureate, joined Her Excellency Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment and COP28 Food Systems Lead, and Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, during COP28 to announce a new mechanism supporting food system innovations that improve resilience and mitigate emissions. Professor Kremer chairs the Innovation Commission for Agriculture, Food Security, and Climate Change.

The Commission partners with the COP28 Presidency to inform the mechanism's design, innovative selection, and concrete actions that will help scale up innovations.Kremer announced recommendations to transition priority innovations to scale and accelerate the development of earlier-stage innovations:

Improved weather forecasts: Innovations enable accurate weather forecasts, which farmers use to adapt agricultural practises. Procuring regional monsoon onset forecasts for 12 countries with 260–305 million farming families subject to Asian monsoons and similar weather systems in Africa costs USD 23 million, generating more than a hundred times more benefits for farmers.

Digital agriculture: climate change affects weather, pests, soil salinity, agricultural markets, and the optimal choice of seed and other inputs. Digital agriculture allows timely, inexpensive, and customised delivery of this information to help boost farmers' resilience. Governments use digital agricultural advisory programmes to improve communication with farmers. Digital agriculture could be rapidly scaled to reach millions of farmers

Training for rainwater harvesting: On-farm harvesting improves soil quality, increases yields and revenues, and sequesters carbon. Funding USD 21 million to scale up such training could benefit 1.8 million farmers in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Chad, generating benefits up to six times greater than costs.

Microbial fertilisers use bacteria to facilitate crops' absorption of nutrients, improving yields and reducing the need for synthetic fertilisers. Modest funding could support the testing and adaptation of microbial fertilisers in LMICs. Establishing a fund to solicit proposals to develop, test, and adapt innovations for climate change, food security, and agriculture could encourage the adoption of microbial fertilisers among smallholder farmers in LMICs.

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