One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?

Many of the posts on this blog talk about smallholder farmers, commonly characterised as farmers who own or farm plots of land smaller than two hectares. Four-fifths of the developing world’s food is a product of small-sized farms, as estimated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and yet some 50% of the world’s hungry are smallholders. Because of the size of their landholdings and thus resource base, smallholder farmers are often disproportionately affected by shocks and stresses such as food price volatility, poor health and climate change. They often live in rural areas where links to markets, financial services and information is poor. But given access to such services, smallholder farmers have a great deal of potential to feed themselves, their households and the rest of the world.

ID-10071315Smallholder farmers, however, are not a homogenous group. Some may be largely subsistence while others have the potential to…

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