Bean grower Manuel Alvarado is part of the majority of producers in Mexico who consider it unnecessary to introduce genetically modified varieties of beans, as the government is promoting.
An estimated one billion small farmers scratching out a living growing diverse crops and raising animals in developing countries represent the key to maintaining food production in the face of hotter temperatures and drought, especially in the tropical regions, says Sarah Elton, author of the book, “Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet.”
“Things are getting worse and worse,” Enrique Muñoz, a 67-year-old farmer from the municipality of Cajamarca in the central Colombian department of Tolima, once known as the country’s breadbasket, said sadly.
Vegetable growing is flourishing in Cuscatlán, the smallest department in the tiny country of El Salvador, with the help of a national programme to promote family agriculture and lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty.
Tanzanian authorities are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with ongoing conflicts between farmers and pastoralists as they fight over limited land and water resources in this East African nation.
Valdenor de Melo has been waiting for 27 years for the land and cash compensation he is due because his old farm was left underwater when the Itaparica hydroelectric dam was built on the São Francisco river in Brazil’s semiarid Northeast.
Rodolfo Razão, an elderly small farmer in Mozambique, obtained an official land usage certificate for his 10 hectares in 2010, but he has only been able to use seven. The rest was occupied by a South African company that grows soy, maize and beans on some 10,000 hectares in the northeast of the country.
For more than 20 years, Anastasia Ngwakun from Bamunkumbit village in central Cameroon has been farming rice the hard way – using only hand tools. But Ngwakun knows that if she were a man, she would have access to the technology that would not require her to work so hard.
Gogo Munthali, from Rumphi, a village over 400 km north of Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, dissolves into tears every morning as she worries about what to feed her five orphaned grandchildren, the youngest of whom has full blown AIDS.
When it launched in 2007, the FAO programme known as Food Security through Commercialisation of Agriculture (FSCA) tried to adopt an approach that differed from on-going efforts to achieve food security, which focused primarily on food production.
Reducing the proportion of undernourished people by half until 2015 was one of the Millennium Development Goals that the international community set in 2000. It will not be reached: At least 870 million people worldwide – and one child in five – still go hungry; this in a world where we already produce enough food today to feed nine billion people in 2050.
Dalchan Singh, a root crop farmer and board member of the Agricultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago, says the past year has seen drastic changes in the weather of this twin-island Caribbean nation.
Work by the Group of 4 (G4) union of Haitian peasant organisations, alo
ng with assistance from the Dessalines Brigade - South American peasant leaders and agroecology experts supported by La Via Campesina - has been singled out for promoting “good farming practices and advocat[ing] for peasant farmers” in Haiti.
In the face of global climate change and currency devaluation, improved strategies are being used to combat high international poverty and malnutrition rates, and to increase global food security.
Smallholder farmer Suleman Mustapha Simbia, 40, is pleased with the introduction of an insurance initiative called the Ghana Agriculture Insurance Programme. The programme is being implemented in this West African nation to help farmers who had been suffering from loss of income as a result of the bad weather conditions that affect their yields.