Friday, 24 November 2017

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Small Farmers Deserve Our Love

Farmers in Vietnam

15.02.2016 – The #WeLoveFarmers campaign from the 12th - 15th February reminds the world of the importance of small farmers in furthering the 2030 Agenda.

Small family farmers feed the majority of the world’s population and support the livelihoods of more than 2 billion people.  The benefits of small farmers are manifold and are in line with several of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

1. Small farmers contribute to global food security. Population projections estimate that the global population will reach 9.5 billion by 2050.  As the majority of the world’s population relies on small farmers, investing in them will be the only way to combat existing hunger and address the growing demand for food. SDG 2 aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. 

2. Small farming provides job opportunities. Rural young people can support themselves and their families through farming. They are also more likely to adopt new technologies that create better yields, which allows farmers to continue feeding the world's growing population. SDG 8 aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

3. Small farmers contribute to climate change mitigation – Small farmers manage vast areas of natural resources, and can mitigate climate change by implementing new farming techniques such as better land management, farming practices and planting forests.  Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity today and small farmers are on the front line of the battle.  SDG 13 aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

4. Small farmers preserve biodiversity - The loss of a plant or species has profound impacts on the local environment and could derail the ecosystem of a whole region. Small family farmers take the necessary steps to secure their local environment: they not only ensure that their crops yield bountiful harvests, but that there will be future harvests too. SDG 15 aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

WeLoveFarmers

A UNEP report found that organic farming is often more effective in developing countries, thus debunking the myth of ‘conventional’ farming, with its use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers, as a higher yield producing method. The report analyzed 114 projects in 24 African countries and found that yields had more than doubled where organic or near-organic practices had been used.

With the various challenges of climate change, population growth and ensuring food security, high on the global agenda, small farmers are indispensable in our planet’s future.  Small farmers deserve our love.  Get involved in social media with the hashtag #WeLoveFarmers.

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UNRICs Related Links

· Sustainable Development Goals 

· UNEP Report

· We Love Farmers 

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