From the Ground Up – the Social Impacts of Plant Science on Smallholder Farms
Of the more than 570 million farms in the world, 90 per cent are smallholders that work on land up to 10 hectares in size. The majority of these farms form the backbone of rural communities in developing countries. These smaller farms produce 30-35 per cent of the world’s food supply on just 24 per cent of the world’s agricultural land.
No two farms are alike – with different soil, climates, pests, and diseases – so farmers require a toolbox filled with different tools and techniques. Large and small farms alike can benefit from plant science innovations, which can enable sustainable farming practices that help ensure food security while protecting biodiversity and enhance farmer livelihoods and rural communities.
Reducing poverty and tackling hunger is a challenge facing many developing countries, particularly in rural areas where yields mean job creation, better nutrition and improved social outcomes. Improving access to biotech and crop protection technologies can give smallholder farms greater opportunities, helping to lift families out of poverty and having far-reaching impacts.