The Importance Of Family and Small Farming

Agriculture is becoming more integrated in the ago-food chain and the global market, while environmental, food safety and quality, and animal welfare regulations are also increasingly impacting on the sector.

Family and small farms are essential to our economy and well-being of the nations around the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), about 90 percent of the world’s 570 million farms are small and most are found in the rural areas of the developing world, but they produce food for a substantial proportion of the world’s population.

Today, there is a need for a sustainable agriculture in order to tackle the triple challenge of producing more food, creating more jobs and preserving the natural resource base: small family farmers lie at the heart of the solution. Not only do they support the competitiveness and sustainability of rural and farm economies, they serve to:

  • Protect and enhance natural resources and the environment
  • Provide a nursery for the development of new enterprises and marketing systems
  • Maintain rural populations

Some examples are seen in Bolivia, where traditional farming communities are working to preserve their ancient seed diversity. By planting and harvesting ancestral varieties of quinoa and over 150 varieties of traditional potatoes, they’re building up a store of seeds and making them accessible to growers.

In Nigeria they are tapping into the IDH block farming model to help develop agricultural practices in a sustainable way, especially the cassava industry in which they are the worlds largest producing country. The block farming model is a structure used to manage supply chains in an inclusive and sustainable way, with a block farm as the focal point of production.

Also in Nigeria, there are several complementary procedures in place to ensure processing factories have a reliable supply of cassava to overcome the challenges in the supply chain. It works by structuring the connections between processing companies and smallholder farmers in a mutually beneficial way, in combination with the financial, educational and technical provisions necessary to kick-start effective production.

These small farmers are faced with many challenges along the way. Productivity, assets, access to markets, off-farm employment, poverty climate change, food security and migration, are just some of the issues.

In view of its high significance and due to its role in generating jobs and income, family farming plays a strategic part not only for food production, but also for developing durable solutions for the improvement of living conditions in rural areas and for the quality of the food supply.

Tradelink works to improve the economic conditions and quality of life within small and family farm communities. In particular, our focus is to:

  • Boost confidence, production, and profits for small farm communities
  • Develop new and enhanced methods to reduce production costs
  • Ensure that farmers are educated about:
    • whole farm planning
    • estate planning and farm transition
    • risk management
    • market opportunities
  • Set up research for specialty crops and apply technologies and the correct practices in field use
  • Guarantee that all farmers have equivalent access to government programs and services.

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