Food Tank and FAO Indicate Family Farming Is Key to Alleviating Worldwide Hunger

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Aug. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- One billion people in the world live in extreme poverty, and 870 million go to bed hungry every night. As the world gears up for the International Year of Family Farming in 2014, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are highlighting ways to provide family farmers the tools they need to really nourish the world. Family farming can enhance soil health, protect water supplies, improve nutrition, and increase incomes.


"Most of the world's farmers are smallholder and family farmers. But their knowledge and practices are not getting the funding they need. Policymakers and business have focused on quantity over quality and forgotten the important role family farming can play in improving nutrition," says Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank co-founder.

"By working with family farmers to build on their knowledge in the development of sustainable agricultural, we can improve resilience in the food system – including resilience to climate change, food price shocks, conflict, and natural disasters," says Barbara Gemmill-Herren, Programme Officer at FAO.

Food Tank and FAO present five effective ways for the world to invest in family farming:

Promote sustainable agriculture methods
In an analysis of 40 projects and programs, sustainable techniques like agroforestry and soil conservation increase yields for African smallholder farmers.

Assist family farmers in adapting to climate change and short-term climate variability
In sub-Saharan Africa, Farmer Field Schools teach farmers to mitigate climate change by managing inputs such as pesticides more effectively while increasing yields and incomes.

Promote policies to provide smallholders with legal titles to their land
Landesa works with countries to implement land rights programs, and helped 100 million farmers obtain or secure ownership over their land.

Increase access to local markets
Farmers markets can provide a great venue for family farmers to sell their products directly to consumers.

Close the gender gap
Closing the gender gap in agriculture could lift 100–150 million people out of hunger.

If public and private sectors direct funding toward family farmers, smallholder agriculture can get the push it needs to nourish both people and the planet.

Food Tank: Food Tank: The Food Think Tank ( is a think tank focused on feeding the world better.

U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): FAO is the coordinating agency of the 2014 International Year of Family Farming

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

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