Farmers, the new climate heroes

Modern technology helps smallholder farmer to improve nature and income

The Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege has been an international ambassador of the Postcode Lotteries since 2019. For twenty years, at the risk of his own life, the gynaecologist has been working for victims of wartime rape. Often these women were horrifically mutilated. In 2018, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his good work.

Solidaridad and partners are awarded 12.7 million euro from this year's Dream Fund of Nationale Postcode Loterij (Dutch Postcode Lottery), for a five-year programme that fights climate change and poverty.

This spring we highlight great examples of social initiatives the Postcode Lotteries are supporting in 2022. Part 3: how smallholder farmers can improve their income while fighting climate change.

Dream Fund
Worldwide, smallholder farmers are given the opportunity to implement climate-smart agriculture and at the same time increase their income by 20-60%. Solidaridad, Fairfood and other partners will receive 12.7 million euros from Nationale Postcode Loterij for their innovative project 'From Climate Victims to Climate Heroes'.

Nationale Postcode Loterij supports charities in many ways: 149 charities receive an annual, unrestricted contribution. Many of these organisations also qualify for a grant from the Dream Fund. This fund is intended to give courageous, impactful, pioneering initiatives a chance.

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Agroforestry
Thanks to the grant from the Dream Fund of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, 100,000 smallholder farmers in Colombia, Nicaragua, Uganda and Kenia will have the opportunity to switch to climate-smart agricultural methods (such as agroforestry) in the next five years. Via the digital platform Acorn, the farmers will be paid by companies that want to compensate for their unavoidable CO2 emissions.
Increasingly, companies are feeling pressure from governments, investors and consumers to set climate targets. The most important thing is that they reduce their emissions, but compensation is also necessary.

Satellite technology
Via the digital platform Acorn, the farmers will be paid by companies that want to compensate for their unavoidable CO2 emissions. More and more companies are feeling pressure from governments, investors and consumers to set climate targets. The most important thing is that they reduce their emissions, but compensation is also necessary.

A satellite technology linked to the digital platform called Acorn measures the growth of the trees. This growth in biomass is converted into carbon credits, which companies can buy through the platform: most of the money goes directly to the farmer. This allows farmers to finance climate-smart agriculture and to pay for better housing and healthcare, for example.

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The Dutch team of Solidaridad

Climate heroes
Heske Verburg, managing director of Solidaridad: “Farmers can protect themselves against climate change, capture greenhouse gases and get paid for this on the carbon credits market. For the first time, small farmers will have large-scale access to this growing market for emission rights. Today, farmers are the main victims of climate change, but if our plans succeed, they will become part of the solution and our climate heroes.”

"Solidaridad will support many smallholder farmers in a smart way and limit climate change,” says Dorine Manson, managing director of the Dutch Postcode Lottery. “It’s unique that smallholder farmers get access to the growing market for carbon credits. It is better for the climate and the farmer. This smart and innovative way of working really appeals to us and we are very happy that we can make the project possible, thanks to the players of the Postcode Lottery.”


Read our other stories about social initiatives the Postcode Lotteries are supporting in 2022 here:
1) How nature can heal: Spending time in nature helps people recover their mental health
2) No more dirty denim: MUD Jeans proves jeans can be more sustainable

Results within 5 years

The intended results of the five-year programme are:

  • 100,000 farmers practise climate-smart agriculture in Latin America and Africa
  • Farmers' families will have extra income from the sale of carbon credits
  • Companies will pay farmers for reducing and capturing CO2
  • In 20 years, 19.5 million tons of CO2 will be captured (the emissions of 1.5 million Dutch people in 2020)
  • Making climate-smart agriculture accessible to millions of farmers worldwide
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