Takeaways from COP28: The Time for a Resilient Food Production System is Now

 After 12 intense days, team Spowdi is back from COP28 building new relationships and collaboration opportunities, even as we strengthen our existing partnerships towards our shared mission for a resilient and sustainable food production system. 

At COP28, our primary focus was on ‘Impact’ and how can we create the greatest possible impact for future-proofing global food production. We know that small-hold farmers produce one-third of our global food and yet are among the first to be impacted by climate change and water stress. Small-hold can be ‘Impact Generators’ if they have access to the right technologies, implementing, governance and financial mechanisms. We see small-hold farmers as entrepreneurs, and like any other entrepreneur, a financial kick-start is required for them to be able to invest in innovative technology. This is where other actors are needed, to enable these 500 million small-scale farmers to create real change on a global level. So, during COP28 meetings and speaking sessions, we reached out to ‘Impact Enablers’ including climate financiers, water & food production stakeholders and last-mile implementing organisations, with a call to action and by showing that together we can create real impact, here and now.  

Here are the highlights from our mission at COP28: 

  • Spowdi’s CEO Henrik Johansson was invited to put across Spowdi’s agenda at the inaugural session of the Sweden pavilion at COP28, an event with included Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.  
  • Spowdi’s CMO Rupali Mehra shared her insights linking innovation in small-hold farming to climate and food at the Water4Climate session organised by World Bank Group and at a session on impact-tech organised by ClimateView. 
  • On December 10, the thematic day of Food, Agriculture and Water, Spowdi organised two sessions;  

Session 1 was on ‘Taking Bold Bets to Future-Proof Food Production’ with a focus on policy and capacity building. The speakers included Chege Ngugi, Africa Regional Director, ChildFund International, Katie Carson, Director of Corporate Affairs, Food and Climate Policy at Tetrapak, Malin Lundberg Ingemarsson, Team Lead, Water for Resilient Landscapes at SIWI and Jakob Kiefer, Board Member at Spowdi. The session was moderated by Rupali Mehra, CMO, Spowdi. 

Watch the session here.

Session 2 was on ‘Resilient Food Production Systems – Enabling Impact Generators through Innovation’. The focus of this session was accelerating through a collaboration between small-hold farmers, innovators, financing & governance institutions and implementing organisations.  The speakers included Sangitaben, a small-hold farmer who is a pioneer in smart farming India in India. Sangitaben shared with the audience how she has managed to increase her harvest by 300% and now has plans to expand smartfarming within her community. Other speakers included Anita George, co-founder of Edhina Capital, Anup Jagwani, Head of Global Agri-businesses at International Finance Corporate (IFC), Mansi Shah from SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association), and Spowdi’s CEO Henrik Johansson. 

Watch the session here.

  • Spowdi and ChildFund International formally signed a partnership agreement to advance smart farming technologies to tens of thousands of small-hold farmers to enhance food production while using minimal water resources. The initiative will kick off with the implementation of a pilot project supporting 250 small-hold farmers in Migori and Nyeri counties in Kenya and later scaled to reach 10,000 farmers within the country, over the next three years. Upon completion of the first phase, the initiative will be replicated in other countries in Africa.   
Photo: Business Sweden
  • Henrik Johansson and Spowdi’s Board Member Jakob Kiefer were invited to share Spowdi’s mission at the breakfast meeting with the Bangladesh Minister of Energy and the International Solar Alliance led by Ajay Mathur. Several high-level participants from all over the world were in attendance, discussing the creation of a global fund with the objective of enabling faster implementation of sustainable technology, especially to the last mile.  
  • Team Spowdi was invited to participate in the fika meeting with Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Minister for Climate and the Environment Romina Pourmokhtari, and share with them the impact of Spowdi’s innovative technology and last-mile connect for a resilient food production system. 

Food systems transformation was high on the climate agenda at COP28, and and 154 countries endorsed the Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action. More than $2.5 billion has been mobilized by the global community to support the food-climate agenda. Our view is that small-hold farmers are at the centre of creating a resilient and sustainable food production system and funds committed should enable small-hold farmers to access innovative, green technologies, de-risk their investment, and improve their livelihoods.  

Over these 12 days we met several climate and impact investment stakeholders and shared our agenda at various fora within COP28. The energy and shared commitment is phenomenal. As we return from COP28 we know that it’s time to act on the commitments made, and the time for creating impact is now. 

Photos 3, 4, 6, 7, 9: Business Sweden

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