[image credit: euractiv.com]
Big aid agencies funnel dollars to large multinational agriculture corporations
“Smallholders, especially women, are the losers in the agro-industry expansion policy pursued over the past few years, which has come with increasing demand for food. But smallholders are the key to solving many of the world’s problems,” said Ethiopian agriculture expert Alemayehu Lalise, co-author of the Berlin Memorandum.
Smallholders practice more environmentally-friendly cultivation methods than industrial agriculture, she explained. And they are the centrepiece of rural society, where the most poverty-related social crises develop
Solution: Prioritize small, locally-based enterprises with program funding
Ahead of this year’s G7 Summit, agriculture experts from several countries on Wednesday (4 February) published a Berlin Memorandum, calling on governments to give more power to smallholders. The document was released at a conference hosted by Welthungerhilfe, in the German capital.
The memorandum’s authors call on G7 states to invest more money and political commitment in strengthening smallholder agriculture.
Smallholders are responsible for 70% of the food supply, while around 80% of them live below the poverty line. Among the more than 800 million starving people worldwide, the vast majority live in rural areas.