World’s 2.5 billion smallholder farmers are key to global food security and sustainability

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Ezekial Rop_Moiben

Ezekial Rop, a smallholder farmer in Moiben, Kenya (photo credit: Jeff Haskins).

Supporting smallholder farmers to play a greater role in food production and natural resource stewardship is one of the quickest ways to lift over one billion people out of poverty and sustainably nourish a growing world population, a new United Nations report released today said.

Most of the 1.4 billion people living on under US$1.25 a day live in rural areas and depend largely on agriculture for their livelihoods, while an estimated 2.5 billion people are involved in full- or part-time smallholder agriculture.

These smallholders manage approximately 500 million small farms and provide over 80 per cent of the food consumed in large parts of the developing world, particularly Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, thus contributing to food security and poverty reduction.

‘A previous study showed that a one-per-cent increase in agricultural per-capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP)…

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