Category Archives: Small Farm

Time to Back Family Farms

familyThe Poultry Site – A dialogue towards more sustainable and resilient farming in Europe and the world was held in Brussels on Friday to ready the European legislative ahead of 2014 – ‘Year of family run agriculture’.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Gerd Sonnleitner, European Farmers Association (COPA) President, praised family farmers for their daily efforts to produce healthy food sustainably.

In an address to the United Nations earlier this month, Mr Sonnleitner, newly appointed UN special ambassador for family agriculture, said the UN should be the ‘lobby’ for sustainable agriculture.

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Organized Small Farmers Become Entrepreneurs

Rice farmers in north IndiaThe Crop Site – The FAO reports that the Food Security through Commercialization of Agriculture programme has been ongoing in 34 countries since 2006, under the technical guidance of FAO’s Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division. To date, countries have benefitted from nearly $50 million in support focusing mainly on policy guidance, capacity development and transfer of modern technologies and best practices.

Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General for Natural Resources said, in opening the event on behalf of FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, “The Food Security through Commercialization of Agriculture (FCSA) Programme is of major importance to FAO. Its achievements contribute directly to FAO’s new strategic vision for ending hunger and achieving sustainable development. The program’s focus on enabling more inclusive and efficient agriculture and food systems at local, national and international levels underscores FAO’s new Strategic Framework to strengthen support to Member Countries’ fight against hunger.”

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Beyond the farm: promoting agribusiness as a way out of poverty

cashew nut factory mozambiqueBy Simon Winter
The Guardian – If we’re serious about ending poverty and feeding a growing planet, it’s imperative that we focus on the 2 billion people who live and work on small farms in the developing world. Often, the best way to support these smallholders has less to do with things they can do to improve their farms and more to do with the systems in which they operate.

What happens at the farm level is important, and farmers need access to knowledge that enhance productivity inputs and tools. But to create sustainable growth in agricultural industries, that can provide opportunities for increasing economic benefits for farmers now and in the future, we need to take a broader approach to development that targets the entire market system.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian
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Building bridges between agribusiness and development

farm workers in a field at a farm in KlippoortieLabex Korea – Aligning agribusiness and development means taking a holistic approach – The Guardian panel suggest 14 crucial factors to making it work. The mainly factors presented by 7 professionals are: Engage smallholders fairly, Regulations aren’t always as effective as voluntary adherence, Bring agriculture into the media, Embed sustainable management systems, We need a holistic approach to value chain development, Monitoring is key, Mainstream conservatism, Certification schemes, Can entrench inequality, Model farms can help encourage chemical compliance, Value chains work best within well-functioning systems, Release Africa’s farmlands from cash crops, Adopt a gendered approach, Governments have a crucial role to play, You can’t ‘scale up’ unsustainable programmes.

Click here to access the complete article at The Guardian with the comments for each theme described above.

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Fairtrade Foundation report damns treatment of smallholder farmers

coffee beansTim Smedley
The Guardian – A Fairtrade Foundation report published today highlights the irreplaceable role of smallholder farmers in global food production, and calls on international business to reassess how it treats the most vulnerable in its supply chain.

The report, “Powering up smallholder farmers to make food fair”, draws on the Fairtrade Foundation’s experience of working with smallholders over 20 years across five main agricultural commodities: coffee, cocoa, tea, sugar and bananas.

Click here to access the complete article
Source and Photo: The Guardian, 25th February, 2013
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Empowering smallholder farmers to create sustainable change – live discussion

coffee farmerBy Jenny Purt

The Guardia – Do you ever look at where the products you buy come from or ponder over how they were made? Staple commodities such as coffee, tea and sugar all have a human story behind them, one involving hundreds of people across the world, that consumers are largely blinkered to.

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SGB and Embrapa formalize strategic partnership in research to develop jatropha in Brazil

JatrophaBiomassa & Bioenergia – GBS, Inc. (SG Biofuels) and Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) entered into a strategic research agreement to promote the development of jatropha as an alternative source of renewable energy in Brazil. Headquartered in San Diego, USA, GBS is an energy crop company that provides high-performance solutions for the markets of renewable energy, biomass and chemicals. It is a leader in its segment and offers the largest and most diverse library of genetic material of Jatropha in the world. The company has been working on this development for five years, combining platforms breeding and genomics.
“By aggregating our efforts for initiatives of an institution of the Brazilian Government Continue reading