small holder farmers

Judith Catongoma, Bananas For Equality, Zambia. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Oxfam

Blog: Rural transformation: Key to sustainable development

2015 represents a juncture for development. The process of defining new Sustainable Development Goals provides an opportunity to refocus policies, investments and partnerships for more inclusive, sustainable and people-centered development.

How agribusiness is failing small farmers in Latin America

Blog: How agribusiness is failing small farmers in Latin America

As international negotiations on what constitutes responsible agricultural investment are set to get underway in Rome next month under the auspices of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security (CFS), one in eight people still suffers from hunger.  Food insecurity today is not simply a problem of supply, but rather of access.

Aminata Yero, president of a cooperative of women farmers in Mauritania. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam

Blog: A hotter world is a hungrier world

The long-drawn out gestation of the latest assessment of global climate change enters a new phase today (Monday, 23 September) in Stockholm, Sweden, as scientists and government civil servants gather to discuss the first instalment of the new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This section of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report focuses on the physical science basis of the climate system and climate change and after all the discussions, it will be officially published on Friday, 27 September.

Children in a classroom, Mali. Photo: Oxfam

Blog: Day 10: Levelling the Plowing Field, Creating Choice

Let’s not be dogmatic about farming methods, many options are needed. Options are precisely what smallholders lack. At best these farmers live imprisoned in “either/or” lives filled with heart-wrenching choices. The rich world must foster equal access to farming essentials and above all choice, for smallholders are indispensable to the future of agriculture. 

Child running through a rice paddy

Blog: Day 10: Should agriculture as we know it have a future?

The consumer is king in agriculture. Until aware consumers change their behaviour, the smallholder farmer will get good words, symbolic gestures, and little else. Consumers need to meet producers halfway by paying a fair price and sharing the risk.

By Sonali Bisht, founder of INHERE (India)

 Cooking porridge, Somalia

Blog: Day 9: Who Will Feed Us All?

If we are to survive climate change, we must adopt policies that let peasants diversify the plant and animal varieties on our menus. Only they have the know-how and patience to find out what plants and livestock will thrive where. A fundamental change in the regulatory machinery is needed.

By Pat Mooney, Co-founder and executive director of the ETC Group

Corn, Bolivia

Blog: Day 6: The Future of Agriculture is the Future of Mother Earth

Nothing is as ironic as the fact that we indigenous peoples, who brought so many foods to the world, lack the means to escape poverty and malnutrition. Having control over what we produce, how and when we do it, and power over its distribution will allow us to build sustainable livelihoods. We call that food sovereignty.

By Tarcila Rivera Zea, Director of the Centre for Peru’s Indigenous Cultures (CHIRAPAQ)

Farmers listen to a lecture on sustainable farming techniques, Nigeria. Image: Oxfam

Blog: Day 5: Group Mutuality Paves the Way to a Sustainable Future for Smallholders

The fundamental problem for both female and male smallholders is the size of their farms. They are simply too small to generate an acceptable livelihood. An incorporated farm model could overcome many of the current obstacles and be the farming system of the future.

By Nicko Debenham, Director, Development & Sustainability at Armajaro Trading Ltd.

A woman holding an umbrella in the streets of Benin. Image: Oxfam

Blog: Day 2: A Less Risky Business

We must invest in reducing the two greatest risks smallholders face: weather-related risk from climate change and market-related risk from globalization. Hope lies in stress-tolerant crops and innovative insurance plans, as well as social safety nets and other public welfare programs

By Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Ferry’ crossing the Bani river to reach the market. Image: Oxfam

Blog: Day 1: Risky Business

Agriculture is a risky business, not only because of its dependence on the weather. Governments, the private sector and farmers themselves need to build robust and overlapping risk-management systems that provide farmers with more than one avenue for protection. 

By Sophia Murphy, Senior advisor to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy


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