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Improving food security by supporting family farmers

Knowledge is food

October 16, 2014

The 2014 World Food Day is celebrated under the theme “Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth”. It draws global attention to the significant role family farming plays in ensuring food security, fighting poverty and hunger, and enhancing sustainable natural resource management.

The UN General Assembly has designated 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF).” This is a strong signal that the international community recognizes the important contribution of family farmers to world food and nutrition security. And CTA together with its partners are joining the effort by attaching a special significance to the IYFF.

Family farming is an effective way of tackling food and nutrition insecurity in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Recent statistics from NEPAD and FAO indicate that 9 million people are dying per year due to hunger and malnutrition. Undernourishment is rampant in the world (1 in 4 people in sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 5 in the Caribbean, 1 in 7 in the Pacific). Africa has 33 million family farms of less than 2 hectares, accounting for 80% of family farms. 92% of food in the Cook Islands is imported and the food import bill for the Caribbean stands at $4.5bn.  

It is known that across the world, family farming is facing many challenges including an aging population. The average age of farmers in the ACP is close to life expectancy. Young people need to be encouraged to consider agriculture as a way of life if agricultural production is to catch up with the page of population growth.  Information is key. Whether it occurs in a rural or urban environment, family farming requires timely and relevant information for decision-making to achieve sustainable livelihoods for the communities involved.  

CTA is dedicated to raising the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers in ACP regions and helping them become more profitable and prosperous. “Our work on policies, inclusive value chains, ICTs and knowledge management is focused on helping family farmers become profitable and prosperous.” stressed Michael Hailu, Director of CTA.  

Through its 30th anniversary campaign, the Centre is championing this effort with the message: Knowledge is food.  

Discover some “stories from the ground” and learn how farm credit offers new viable opportunities for rural areas in Haiti.     

Download and share our special World Food Day infographic.

Visit our special online dossier celebrating the International Year of Family Farming here:  

Help us spread the word! #Worldfoodday #IYFF14 #CTA30th