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We need help the smallholder family farmers

Photo credit: FAO

Investments in agricultural development, rural infrastructure and social protection are important for breaking systemic cycles of rural poverty.

Feeding a growing world population requires investments in rural areas

Social protection programs and growing agricultural productivity key to ending poverty traps

Feeding the world’s growing population requires targeted investments to unleash the productive potential of millions living in rural areas, where nearly 80 percent of the world’s  poor are found, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

“It is a hard task, but it can be effectively done through a combination of investment in social protection, and targeted pro-poor investment in productive activities,” he said, speaking at an event on finance for food, held on the sidelines of theWorld Food Day ceremony at Expo Milan.

Social protection transfers, he said, can provide incomes and food to improve the nutrition of the poor and undernourished.

The FAO Director-General especially underlined the importance of investment in agricultural research and extension, rural infrastructure, education and natural resource management for breaking cycles of rural poverty.

Unfortunately, “In regions where hunger and extreme poverty are most widespread – South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa – investments in agriculture have not kept up,” he said, adding that farmers remain the greatest source of investment in agriculture around the world.

“We need to help smallholder family farmers in more than 500 million farms worldwide to invest in their future,” the FAO Director General stressed.

Read the full article: FAO

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.