Future of global food security without small farmers

November 18. 2016
By Dr Monika Barthwal-Datta

Small farming households feed the planet today, growing the vast majority of the world’s food. They are the custodians of the earth’s agricultural resources, playing a central role in their sustainable use and management. Complex and adapted to local conditions, small farms tend to be more efficient and biodiverse than large farms such as those owned by big agribusinesses.

Yet, small farmers around the world are being forced to abandon agriculture. From a lack of secure access to resources like land and water, and low farmgate prices, to the rising costs of inputs like fuel and fertiliser, and the damaging effects of climate change – small farmers, especially in developing countries in regions like Asia and Africa, are overwhelmed and increasingly unable to cope.

As their numbers dwindle, who or what will take their place? And what will this mean for global food security?

This article is part of the SFG publication “Big Questions of Our time: The World Speaks”. To access the full publication please click here.

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