Small Farmers

Colombia’s Breadbasket Feels the Pinch of Free Trade

“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 Gardens Ease Poverty in El Salvador

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.

Tanzania Struggles to End Clashes Between Farmers and Herders

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.

Development Follows Devastation from Brazilian Dam

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.

Farmers in Mozambique Fear Brazilian-Style Agriculture

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.

Restoring Sight to Africa’s Gender-Blind Rice Sector

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.

Malawi’s Failed Subsidy Programme Left Millions to Starve

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.

Programme to Boost Small Farmers Fights for Continuity

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.

OP-ED: Sustainable Development Goals After 2015

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.

Trinidad’s Farmers Outpaced by Climate Change

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.

Haitian Farmers Lauded for Food Sovereignty Work

Work by the Group of 4 (G4) union of Haitian peasant organisations, along 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.

Technology and Innovation Aim at Greater Food Security

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. 

Insuring Ghana’s Smallholder Farmers Against the Weather

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. 

Small Ponds Bring Bumper Harvests

“I would never have believed it possible to get a bumper rice harvest during the drought season,” 43-year-old Mohammad Shajahan Ali, a farmer hailing from the village of Magtapur in Bangladesh’s northern Chapainawabganj district, told IPS.

Youth Find a Future in Food Production

With little more than a bush knife and an axe between them, a group of young boys between the ages of nine and 18 years have taken food security into their own hands. In Kindu, a community of 5,000 people in the coastal urban area of Munda in the Solomon Islands, these boys, who have been abandoned by their parents, have transformed their lives by establishing a cooperatively run farm.

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