New Research Shows That 500 Million Family Farmers Have Enormous Potential To Feed The World

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New Research Shows That 500 Million Family Farmers Have Enormous

Potential To Feed The World

CHICAGO, March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As the world celebrates the

International Year of Family Farming, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank

( highlights new research in a report, Food

Tank by the Numbers: Family Farming, that features original research

from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and draws on

dozens of experts. The report proves that family farms-farms or

ranches owned and operated by families-are not only feeding the world,

but also developing effective ways to address global food security,

increase income, protect biodiversity, and conserve the environment

for a growing population.

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According to research in the Food Tank report, soils are being

depleted 10 to 40 times faster than they are being replenished, and as

a result, 30 percent of global arable land has lost productivity. And

land use changes as a result of agriculture-deforestation and land

degradation-are contributing to climate change.

But millions of family farmers are using agroecological approaches to

combat climate change. Agroforestry, solar drip irrigation, and

integrated pest management are helping protect natural resources,

improving nutrient density, and increasing farmers' incomes.

"We need to bring more attention to what's being implemented by family

farmers on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Central

America, the United States, and Europe because what they're doing is

working. These innovative practices, which are grounded in farmers'

knowledge, are nourishing communities and protecting the planet's

resources at the same time," says Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank


Supporting family farmers' livelihoods through facilitating access to

markets can have a substantial and significant effect on increasing

rural incomes. Organic certification for family farmers has also had a

positive effect on their incomes-in Indonesia, the Boyolali Farmers'

Association, has shown a 40 percent reduction in production costs

because of organic farming practices.

Family farming also drives economic growth and social stability by

providing job opportunities. Small farmers create a "multiplier"

effect that extends beyond the farm sector, spending a high share of

their income in other sectors, and creating demand for goods in other


"Family farmers deserve to be recognized for the multiple roles they

play-as business women and men, innovators, teachers, and stewards of

the land. Family farmers need our recognition and our support now, not

later," says Caterina Batello, Senior Agricultural Officer FAO.

With increased support from research institutions and the funding and

donor communities to invest in family farmers, global food security

can be achieved, environmental resources can be protected, and

national economies can grow.

Watch Food Tank's short movie here:

Global petition campaign:

Further highlights from the report:

-- Over 98 percent of farms are family farms and these produce at

least 56 percent of the world's agricultural production.

-- If 10,000 small- and medium-sized farms converted to organic,

sustainable production, the environmental effect in terms of carbon

sequestration would be equivalent to removing over one million cars

from the road.

-- Mobile phone technology has been instrumental in breaking down

barriers that smallholder, rural farmers face in accessing markets.

Editors Note:

To obtain a complimentary copy of "Food Tank by the Numbers: Family

Farming," please contact Danielle Nierenberg at

About Food Tank

Food Tank: The Food Think Tank ( ) is a think tank

focused on feeding the world better. We research and highlight

environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of

alleviating hunger, obesity and poverty and create networks of people,

organizations, and content to push for food system change.

Read more news from Food Tank.

CONTACT: Danielle Nierenberg at 202-590-1037 or Email

SOURCE Food Tank

-0- 03/06/2014


PRN Photo Desk,

/Web Site:

CO: Food Tank

ST: Illinois




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