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'Smallholder farmers are on the front lines of climate change'

  Feb 13, 2016

'Smallholder farmers are on the front lines of climate change'

A large part of the world’s food is produced by smallholder farmers. But why they have remained economically disadvantaged? 
It is a tragic irony that smallholders grow much of the developing world’s food but often go hungry themselves. They have long been left out of the mainstream of economic growth, development, and government policies because governments did not give priority to agriculture as the engine of economic growth. Lack of these are the main reasons for their marginalisation.
What methods/policies are best for uplifting smallholder farmers? How many people worldwide have benefitted from these methods? How important is the role of cooperatives in improving the economic status and scientific knowledge of smallholder farmers?
Producer organisations play an absolutely vital role in enabling rural people to seize new economic opportunities. Climate change continues to threaten agriculture, with small famers being more vulnerable to it. What can be done in the future to climate-proof crop production at small scale?
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change was a watershed moment in the fight against this threat. Capacity building of farmer associations, women’s groups, and extension services to adopt and promote climate-smart technologies, such as biogas and drought- and flood-resistant crop varieties. Smallholder farmers are on the front lines of climate change but often lack the resources and resilience to cope, so building their capacity is absolutely important.