Smallholder farmers

Rural farmers manage approximately 500 million small farms and provide over 80 per cent of the food consumed in large parts of the developing world, particularly Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. They contribute to food security and poverty alleviation is such that, as one study showed, a one-per-cent increase in agricultural per-capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reduced the poverty gap five times more than a one-per-cent increase in GDP in other sectors, especially amongst the poorest people.

Yet, smallholder farmers feel the brunch than any other group of people when climate change affects agricultural output by imposing limited or too much precipitation during crop seasons. In most developing countries, farmers have been left at the mercy of the climate with no knowledge and capacity to adapt farming practices to the risks and challenges posed by climate change.

As agricultural systems for smallholder farmers remain vulnerable to climate change, action must be taken to ensure their source of income is secured for sustainable living. Waterclan is working with Civil Society Organisations to support smallholder farmers obtain land, diversify crop species and alternate farming methods to adapt to climate change; change farming practices to promote climate change mitigation; and how to market their products at fair prices.

For every ten-per-cent increase in farm yields, there was a seven-per-cent reduction in poverty in Africa, and a reduction of over five-per-cent in Asia.