9 November 2010

Supporting Smallholder Farmers

Women Play a Key Role in Smallholder Agriculture
Three quarters of the world’s poorest people live in rural areas and their livelihoods depend on agriculture. The majority of smallholder farmers in developing countries are women and they are responsible for 60-80% of food production. 
Agriculture is the major productive activity in many developing countries.  Agricultural development is central to the broader fight against poverty, particularly in Africa. Limited technology and training, difficulties related to land ownership and tenure, as well as the effects of climate change, environmental degradation and HIV/AIDS, all impact upon agricultural production in developing countries. Women’s participation in any plans to improve agriculture and food security is vital, not only because of their role as farmers, but also because they look after the health and nutrition of their families. Issues such as women’s access to land and credit as well as their role in agricultural diversification for improved household nutrition are increasingly being factored into programmes which address agricultural production by governments and NGOs. 
It is closely related to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Growing crops and rearing animals involves use and management of the natural resource base and is closely related to environmental sustainability. Adequate food supplies are essential to good nutrition and health – including maternal and child health. Proper nourishment is also essential to the mitigation of the effects of HIV/AIDS. Agriculture often provides the income which is used to support children at school.
Ireland’s ResponseIrish Aid is committed to enabling and assisting sustainable pro-poor economic growth through support for rural development and agriculture. We support measures to improve the production and efficiency of agriculture in partner countries in Africa through additional funding for rural infrastructure, water management, research and sustainable land management initiatives.
• Irish Aid provides funding to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). This is a strategic alliance of fifteen agricultural research centres which together work to foster agricultural productivity, achieve sustainable food security, improve nutrition and reduce poverty in developing countries. 
• In Tanzania Irish Aid supports the Governments Agriculture Sector Development Programme which aims to enable farmers to have better access to and use of agricultural knowledge, technologies, marketing systems and infrastructure, all of which contribute to higher productivity, profitability and farm incomes.
• With Irish Aid support, In Malawi, 1.6 million smallholder farmers have been able to purchase fertiliser and improved seeds through the Government Farm Input Subsidy programme. In 2009, only 10% of households had less than adequate food consumption, down from 38% in 2007. For more on Irish Aid’s support to smallholder farmers in Malawi please read Sharon and Peter’s story below.
Sharon and Peter’s Story
Content Image
Sharon Bomba and Peter Cornodi are smallholder farmers in Malawi. As members of the Irish Aid supported Government farm inputs subsidy programme they and their families have benefitted from improved availability of essential farm supplies. Read More

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your opinion is important and welcome!!