Today is End Poverty Day, and we invite our readers to consider how improving the world’s food systems can end both hunger and poverty.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of the region’s food is produced by smallholder, or family, farmers, the majority of whom are considered to be “extremely poor”.
Under current agricultural systems, smallholder farmers struggle to increase their incomes, as they face one or more of the following challenges:
- They lack access to the proper inputs needed, such as good seed, to grow successful crops and healthy food;
- They lack access to proper storage facilities and lose much of their produce post-harvest to pests and toxic fungi, like aflatoxin;
- They’re unable to physically move their product to markets, due to poor transportation systems;
- They’re unable to sell their products at a fair price, due to the instability of local markets.
The World Food Bank is one of the only companies working to address every issue facing farmers across the agricultural sector in tandem. Through our model and our partnerships, we know that we can solve hunger in our lifetime and end the devastating rates of poverty for smallholder farmers. Through our model, we believe we can not only lift farmers out of poverty, but we can also help them land firmly in the middle class, creating a global economic boom like nothing ever seen before in history.
Ending poverty for smallholder farmers will have many positive benefits. With the right income, farmers will be able to send their children to school, afford healthcare for their families, and contribute to their communities in other positive ways.
As The World Bank says, “The view that a productive agriculture system is critical for employment creation and poverty reduction is now widely shared within the development community.”
We know that we must change the way we govern our global food systems if we want to end poverty, and that is exactly what we want to to at The World Food Bank.