On Sunday, June 28, CAMFED’s Portia Adomah Kuffuor joined a panel discussion organized by the makers of the film 2040, on the topic of regenerative agriculture.

It followed the launch of the film in the US, and is part of a series of talks on solutions for our planet that feature in the film. At the center is the unrivalled combination of educating girls and empowering women. Portia was able to provide a narrative thread between these three key solutions, which are embodied in CAMFED’s programs, spearheaded by educated African women.

Young women climate-smart [agriculture] champions work with schools, with community groups, and with local authorities to provide contextualized support that enables these communities to provide nourishing school meals, to minimize harvest loss, to protect trees, and to reduce emissions.

Portia Adomah Kuffuor, Senior Development Officer, CAMFED

Watch the full panel session to hear Portia talk about CAMFED’s Agriculture Guide Program that “places women left, right, and center… CAMFED evidence shows that when you create responses that do so — that place women in the centre — you are most effective.”

Portia joined Damon Gameau, the film’s award-winning director; Eric Toensmeier, Senior Fellow of Land Use Solutions at Project Drawdown,  and physician Zach Bush on the virtual panel, moderated by Sarah Mosses, CEO of Together Films. They brought together a range of experiences working in regenerative agriculture, which not only prevents the release of carbon into the atmosphere, but also actively sequesters it. Simultaneously, it improves soil quality, increases the nutritional value of crops, and drives up productivity. Panelists agreed that educational opportunities for smallholder farmers — who grow the majority of the world’s food — are vital to the roll-out of regenerative agriculture practices around the globe.

We should be shifting our subsidies to small farmers around the world because they are the ones providing the nutrient-rich food. As we talk about in the film, the role of educating and empowering girls should not be underestimated.

Damon Gameau, 2040 Film Director

Portia pointed to CAMFED’s Agriculture Guide Program as a model for this, especially following our recognition with a UN Global Climate Action Award in 2019. It sees members of the CAMFED Association — the network of women leaders educated with CAMFED support — participate in training and cascade both Indigenous and innovative techniques to their communities. A small group of Agriculture Guides has already improved the productivity, sustainability and profitability of their own smallholdings and reached more than 8,500 individuals, mostly women and other young people, through demo farms, community workshops and mentoring. Summarizing the Agriculture Guide program, Portia concluded, “I can not overemphasize enough the gift of girls’ education. It gives women the confidence to step up in the climate conversation.”

As we enter a new strategic phase, CAMFED has committed to scaling the Agriculture Guide Program to reach many more young women, communities, and in turn children we collectively support to go to school and thrive.

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Find out why girls’ education and gender equality are at the core of effective climate action

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