Africa: Family Farming On Focus During World Food Day

News from Africa

Family farming is the focus of World Food Day on 16 October, coupled with the theme: ‘Feeding the world, caring for the earth’.

According to a 2014 report by GRAIN, an international non-profit organization reveals that small farms produce most of the world’s food which affirmed the claim – Family farming feed the world.

In African countries, especially Kenya, small farmers operate 16% of agricultural land, but provide 55% of agricultural output, including: 97% of potatoes, 88% of vegetables, 83% of fruits and berries and 80% of milk.

This shows that small peasant family farms are the bedrock of global food production. The bad news is that they are squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world’s farmland and such land is under threat.

The report also revealed that small farmers are often much more productive than large corporate farms, despite the latter’s access to various expensive technologies. For example, if all of Kenya’s farms matched the output of its small farms, the nation’s agricultural productivity would double.
What if small scale farmers could achieve so much if only they had access to more land and could work in a supportive policy environment, rather than under the siege conditions they too often face? For example, the vast majority of farms in Zimbabwe belong to smallholders and their average farm size has increased as a result of the Fast Track Land Reform Program. Small farmers in the country now produce over 90% of diverse agricultural food crops, while they only provided 60 to 70% of the national food before land redistribution.

Traditionally peasant agriculture prioritizes food production for local and national markets as well as for farmers’ own families. Big Artichet corporations take over scarce fertile land and prioritize commodities or export crops for profit and markets far away that cater for the needs of the affluent, thus impoverishes local communities bringing about food insecurity.

Therefore concentration of fertile agricultural land in fewer and fewer hands is directly related to the increasing number of people going hungry every day and is undermining global food security.

The corporate consolidation of agriculture is happening currently in Mozambique among other African nations and as a result, food security and local/regional food sovereignty is being threatened.

Meanwhile, as the leaders are thinking around Food Security, UWC international organization and its affiliates is hosting the game “Second Life” which will be used as a tool to combat the threat of hunger. It will be live-streamed to the Missouri University and other partners who would like to view as well.

Live broadcast of Second Life, the largest-ever 3D virtual world created entirely by its users, will see students take the role of a farmer wanting to increase their agricultural output (Role Play). Each student will present their “conservation planning including water and food security project based on a South African municipality” and use our Environmental & Agriculture Sustainability Information Portal (EASI Portal).

The learner experience will be extended to all program leaders and research collaborators in universities database and the findings could have exponential effects on agriculture and hunger. A pre-recorded 6 minute video will be screened and this looks at the converse side of world hunger, “Obesity in the time of food insecurity”.