[IN] FOD AGR FIN
-- WITH PHOTO -- TO BUSINESS EDITORS:
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
(http://www.FoodTank.com) 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.
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.
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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.
To obtain a complimentary copy of "Food Tank by the Numbers: Family
Farming," please contact Danielle Nierenberg at Danielle@foodtank.com.
About Food Tank
Food Tank: The Food Think Tank ( www.FoodTank.com ) 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
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