Smallholder farmers are generally defined as farmers cultivating less than two hectares of land. Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people get their food and income from farming these small plots.i Productivity on these plots in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia is extremely low compared to the rest of the world, in terms of both yield and labor.
Improving agricultural productivity while conserving and enhancing natural resources is essential for farmers to increase global food supplies on a sustainable basis. Low productivity undermines potential food production, stifles income growth, and keeps many farming families impoverished, hungry, and undernourished. The success of developing countries in increasing agricultural productivity will have global implications in strengthening the resilience of food markets, enhancing food security, improving well-being and promoting sustainability.
Agricultural productivity has increased in developing countries to reach levels consistent with wealthier nations, increasing global food security while agricultural land is sustainably managed. All smallholder farmers are able to utilize advanced farming techniques and resources. Due to increases in yield and income, they no longer suffer from undernourishment or poverty.
1 The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Agricultural Development Strategy Overview)
1 CGAP (link)
2 Food and Agriculture Organization (The State of Food and Agriculture 2014)
3 Rockefeller Foundation (Waste and Spoilage in the Food Chain)
4 Food and Agriculture Organization The State of Food and Agriculture 2014)