SMALL-SCALE FARMERS & THE FUTURE OF FOOD
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Small-scale farmers in Africa grow an estimated 80% of the food consumed on the continent. Paradoxically, they are also the majority of the hungry. Following the 2007-8 food-price increases, policy-makers promised much-needed investment for this neglected sector of society, investment that could close the large “yield gap” at relatively low cost. It could also help these most vulnerable food-producers adapt to a rapidly changing climate.
Unfortunately, global and national policy has largely failed to prioritize such investments. Instead, large-scale projects dominate, and those that target small-scale farmers often feature technologies inappropriate to their resources and growing conditions. High-input, industrial-scale agriculture, controlled by global agribusiness firms, dominates national and global policies, worsening climate change with high greenhouse-gas emissions. Meanwhile small-scale farmers remain starved for government support, their families often starved for food. But they continue to pursue low-input climate-resilient agriculture that shows the way forward under climate change.
Small-scale farmers continue to pursue low-input, climate-resilient agriculture that shows the way forward under the threat of climate change.
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