But can empowering farmers feed the world? It can. In fact, it is happening right now. Send a Cow is working in Sub-Saharan Africa, empowering smallholder families to farm sustainably. Send a Cow is supporting farmers to learn ‘agroecological’ farming techniques. Agroecology is environmentally-sustainable farming that uses organic principles and is ‘capable of meeting environmental, economic and social needs’. Agroecology supports smallholder farms to be highly diverse, integrated and uses a low level of external input. These three features of agroecology make it a perfect low cost, climate resilient solution for small farms. Send a Cow provides training in farm resource planning, sustainable organic agriculture, gender equality, and enterprise development, along with supporting farmers to gain access to assets such as livestock, seeds, and tools. We worked with Send a Cow to analyse the results of their community education programme. The results of the report found that organic farming methods are among the best (low cost, low risk) options for farmers in places of hunger, such as Sub-Saharan Africa. The data shows that by adopting agroecological farming techniques, rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa have a more secure future. It also allows these communities to eat a varied diet with healthy and nutritious food every day, all year round. It enables farmers to rise well above the absolute poverty line by increasing their yields and selling the surplus of food generated and increases farmers’ ability to combat the effects of climate change by increasing crops resilience. It has had the additional effect of improving gender equality which leads to a more sustainable future.This data has shown that organic farming methods really do have an important role to play in feeding the world!
Sub-Saharan Africa is the most climate vulnerable area in the world. It’s now more important than ever to implement farming techniques that can withstand the impacts of climate change. There are so many incredible ways that investing in smallholder agrological farming in Sub-Saharan Africa can have a direct and positive impact on sustainability and climate resilience. Here are the top four reasons agroecological farming is a cheaper, low-risk and more climate resilient farming method.
Imagine a solution to poverty that was capable of increasing farm-yields by 20-30%, and lift 100-150 million people out of hunger? Female empowerment through smallholder farming has the potential to achieve just that. We are working with our partner, Send a Cow to highlight the impact women can have on alleviating poverty through sustainable, organic farming methods.
In the Global South, most poor and hungry people live in rural areas where they are involved with food production. FAO calculates that around half of the world's hungry people are from smallholder farming communities. However, poverty and hunger is not inevitable for smallholder farmers. By empowering farmers to use agroecological techniques, farmers are able to grow a healthy and varied crop. This not only provides them and their families with nutritious food all year round but rather than producing food on a subsistence level, farmers can sell any surplus. The income from selling surplus food is enough to enable farmers to rise well above the absolute poverty line. Data collected by Send a Cow in Uganda found that only 54% of the farmers were earning more than a dollar a day.
By empowering Farming families in western Kenya with agroecological farming practises these families are flourishing. They are overcoming immense challenges – such as poverty, gender inequality, a lack of education, and the effects of climate change. Find out about the impact of Send a Cow's project is having in Kenya.
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You can find out more about Send a Cow’s work, and how they are empowering farmers to adopt sustainable farming practises in Sub-Saharan Africa by visiting their website. For more information about the role of organic farming in feeding the world, please see our report Feeding the Future, and visit IFOAM Organics International– the global umbrella organisation of the organic movement, with members in over 120 countries.
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