Smallholder Farmers and Food Security

posted Jan 18, 2011, 8:01 AM by Andrea Bohn   [ updated Jan 18, 2011, 8:12 AM ]

We need to help smallholder farmers become a bigger part of the solution to food security

"In many developing countries a majority of smallholder farmers are net food buyers, and rural households make up a substantial majority of the world’s 900 million-plus hungry. Helping smallholders to increase their productivity and marketed supply is thus perhaps the most important thing that can be done to reduce the number of hungry people in the world. Yet we also know that many smallholder farmers are facing growing difficulties – soil erosion, declining soil fertility, salination of arable lands, growing scarcity of water, and increasingly volatile and uncertain weather patterns – and these are undermining agricultural production in large parts of the developing world.

So yes, we need to help smallholder farmers become a bigger part of the solution to food security, but that needs to go hand-in-hand with also helping them to farm in a way that is more sustainable in its use of the natural resource base, and more resilient to the ever-growing impacts of climate change. It's a challenge that is given added urgency by the need to feed a global population that will likely exceed 9 billion by the year 2050. The alternative is continued hunger, mass migration and a threat to the social stability of many developing countries."

Source:, retrieved 1/18/2011

USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah Explains Goals For Feed The Future

posted Dec 20, 2010, 10:14 AM by Andrea Bohn   [ updated Dec 20, 2010, 10:26 AM ]

Shah Explains Goals For Feed The Future (ABC).   US ABC News This Week (12/19, 10am, featured an interview with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah regarding child malnutrition and the efforts implemented by the administration to address global hunger.  Shah said that he, President Obama, and Secretary of State Clinton have “been very aggressive to change the way food assistance takes place and to change the way development happens so that we’re focusing on the most effective interventions to really help countries pull themselves out of poverty.”  He added that the US’ “new approach has been to continue to recognize that we need to be the world’s largest, fastest, most effective food aid provider.”  Through Feed the Future, the US is helping countries “produce more local foods, produce higher quality foods, improve the targeting of children under the age of 2 and pregnant women,” so that countries can move toward taking “care of their own people and their people’s nutrition and welfare,” said Shah.

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