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“Now we realise that it is not how much land you have, but what you cultivate and how you cultivate it.  We sell some of our vegetables and get good money.  My children are in school, and my family is happy and healthy now.”

Dorse Doko, Ethiopia

The experiences of the African Smallholder Farmers Group show that with the appropriate financial, technical and social support, the majority of smallholder farmers can increase their production and their incomes in ways that are economically and ecologically sustainable – thereby increasing their economic viability and resilience to unexpected shocks caused by climate change or market fluctuations. 

We believe that:

  • Investment in Africa's smallholder agricultural sector is vital to achieve pro-poor economic growth, poverty and hunger reduction, and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
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  • With appropriate support, African smallholder farmers can produce nutritious food and reduce poverty and hunger in ways that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.
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  • African smallholder farmers, particularly women, should play an active role in shaping the agricultural policies, research and programmes designed to address their needs.
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  • There are over 300 million rural poor people in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 62% of the rural population in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than US$1.25 a day.
  • 30% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa are undernourished.
  • Africa has approximately 33 million small farms, representing 80% of all farms in the region.
  • Smallholder farmers produce as much as 90% of agricultural output in Africa.
  • The vast majority of smallholder farmers are women. Women produce over 70% of the food in Africa.

Sources: IFAD Rural Poverty Report 2011, FAO/WFO The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2010, 2005 Information Brief Small Farms: Current Status and Key Trends, Oksana Nagayets, 2009 IAASTD Report: Agriculture at a Crossroads.

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