Greetings from Budapest, Hungary. I am here as part of the Global Forum and Expo on Family Farming.
Today, Food Tank is releasing a new research report called Food Tank By the Numbers: Family Farming. You can share an article about the report with a link to the complementary download by clicking HERE.
The report proves that family farms—farms or ranches owned and operated by families—are not only feeding the world, but also nourishing the planet. Family Farms are developing effective ways to address global food security, increase income, protect biodiversity, and conserve the environment for a growing population.
According to research in the Food Tank report, approximately 70 percent of the world’s freshwater goes toward agriculture, and it is estimated that this will increase by 19 percent by the year 2050. Soilsare being depleted 10 to 40 times faster than they are being replenished, and as a result, 30 percent of global arable land has lost productivity. And land use changes as a result of agriculture—deforestation and land degradation—are contributing to climate change.
But millions of family farmers are using agroecological approaches to combat climate change and create resilience to food price shocks, natural disasters, and conflict. Agroforestry, inter-cropping, cover crops and green manure, solar drip irrigation, integrated pest management, and utilizing orphan and indigenous crops are helping protect natural resources, improving nutrient density, and increasing farmers’ incomes.
We need to bring more attention to what’s being implemented by family farmers—big and small—on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, the United States, and Europe because what they’re doing is working. These innovative practices, which are grounded in farmers’ knowledge, are nourishing communities and protecting the planet’s resources at the same time. Smallholder and family farmers are the backbone of food production all over the world.
Seventy-five percent of Earth’s plant genetic resources have been lost, but family farmers are protecting plant diversity across the world. According to the report, by planting diversified and indigenous crops, family farmers can produce between 20 to 60 percent more yields than farmers who produce only one type of crop.
Supporting family farmers’ livelihoods through facilitating access to markets can have a substantial and significant effect on increasing rural incomes, which includes 70 percent of the world’s poor. Organic certification for family farmers has also had a positive effect on their incomes—in Indonesia, the Boyolali Farmers’ Association, Asosiasi Petani Padi Organik Boyolali [APPOLI], has shown a 40 percent reduction in production costs because of organic farming practices, and the market price of the organic rice that they grow is 20 percent higher than non-organic rice.
Family farming also drives economic growth and social stability by providing job opportunities. Small farmers create a “multiplier” effect that extends beyond the farm sector, spending a high share of their income in other sectors, including construction, infrastructure, and manufacturing, which creates demand for other goods and sectors in their communities. In Asia, for example, every dollar of income that the farming sector generates also creates an additional US$0.80 in non-farming sectors.
“Family farmers deserve to be recognized for the multiple roles they play—as business women and men, innovators, teachers, and stewards of the land. Family farmers need our recognition and our support now, not later,” says Caterina Batello, Senior Agricultural Officer FAO.
With increased support from research institutions and the funding and donor communities to invest in family farmers, global food security can be achieved, environmental resources can be protected, and national economies can grow.
Further highlights from the report:
● Recent research by FAO shows that, in their global sample, over 98 percent of farms are family farms and these produce at least 56 percent of the world’s agricultural production. In many countries, the contribution of family farmers to food production far surpasses their share of land holdings.
● Family farming makes up the majority of agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa,where approximately 33 million farms in the region, or 80 percent, are smallholder farms.
● More than 80 percent of all agricultural holdings measure less than two hectares in size and are thus managed by smallholder farmers.
● All farmers can have a direct impact on nutrition through the crops that they choose to grow and consume, as well as through post-harvest and preparation methods.
● Smallholder farmers utilize farming practices that preserve biodiversity—not just for nutrition and taste—but also because cultivating a wide variety of species helps insulate farmers against risk of plant disease, and crop diversity promotes soil health and increases yields.
● Diversified and indigenous crops are typically more resilient to climate change and extreme weather conditions.
● The use of organic fertilizers by family farms has been proven to be effective in reducing soil degradation.
● Smallholder farmers typically use innovative technologies to conserve resources. Drip irrigation methods used in Benin, for example, can save between 30 and 60 percent more water than conventional methods.
● Evidence shows smallholder and family farming can be the key to mitigation of the negative effects of climate change and improving food security.
● If 10,000 small- and medium-sized farms converted to organic, sustainable production, the environmental effect in terms of carbon sequestration would be equivalent to removing over one million cars from the road.
● In Vietnam, land tenure reforms that provide private land use rights to smallholder farmers have had a significant and positive effect on agricultural productivity, as well as increasing household incomes.
● Mobile phone technology has been instrumental in breaking down barriers that smallholder, rural farmers, especially women, face in accessing markets.
● Despite growth of large-scale farms around the world, smallholder and family farming still make up the majority of global agriculture
Thanks for all that you do to build a better food system!
All The Best,
President, Food Tank
If you have a prayer or a thought that you want to mention here or send to someone who you believe is deserving please use my column to reach special people who would go out of their way to say a special prayer on your behalf for that someone you care about – Marty Martel
WHISNews21 Prayer Line and thoughts for yesterday, today and tomorrow by Marty Martel
Prayer To Do God’s Will Today: Thy will be done. Dear God, I am full of the sound of my own voice, That lump of pride deep within me that will not go away, No matter how I try. Give me the strength through the power of your Holy Spirit To hear your voice and follow it, fighting the temptation to sin That bubbles up inside me whenever my mind strays from you. Thy will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will be done. You have commanded us to love one another, this I know without doubt. And yet all day I am filled with judgments, with resentments, With anger that sneaks in and grabs me when I am not paying attention to you. I pray dear God, that you will soften my heart to my fellow humans, No matter how sinfully they may act, and leave the judging to you, As you have commanded. Fill me with acceptance in place of judgment,Sympathy in place of anger, faith in place of resentment. For my judgments and anger are the creatures of pride. May I do thy will this day, in the name of Christ I pray – Amen
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Rumors That A Toll Gate In Guateng South Africa Has Been Torn Down
We received this picture at our email outpost with the caption “One Down Dozens To Go” We cannot find any proof that this is a hoax or not. It certainly looks real, but there are no reports in the South African press to confirm that this picture is real or not. If this picture is in fact real then it seems as though the news is being hushed up for some reason or other. What we do know is that 90% of the majority of South Africans are against the new toll roads. There have been many violent and peaceful protest against the new toll roads. Below is a recent article published in BBC Africa News:
South Africa’s contentious toll road system has opened around Johannesburg, with huge traffic jams after motorists flocking to use alternative routes.
Opposition parties, trade unions and churches are calling for a boycott of the much-delayed system, saying it is unfair and badly designed.
The “e-toll” system affects the ring road around Johannesburg and the motorway to the capital, Pretoria.
The government says the toll is need to pay for improved roads.
The BBC’s Pumza Fihlani in Johannesburg says the issue has become increasingly political just months away from a general election.
Traffic reports around Johannesburg and Pretoria said there were bumper-to-bumper jams on suburban roads.
A police spokesperson described the congestion as “chock-a-block” and added that it had not eased up since early morning, the Sapa news agency reports.
Our correspondent says that, in contrast, there was little traffic on the new toll roads.
Critics say the e-toll is unfair because South Africans already pay a fuel tax, VAT and existing tolls – some roads now have both e-toll gantries and a conventional, manned toll-gate.
The government say registered users would pay a “capped-fee” 450 rand ($43; £26) to use the roads each month, while those who do not register could pay up to three times as much if they do not pay within seven days.
Their car number plates are scanned by gantries over the toll roads and bills sent to their homes if they have not paid in advance.
Local organisations have campaigned unsuccessfully for several years to have the project stopped, even launching a last-minute legal case, which was rejected.
Critics have described the system as “highway robbery”.
The government says the e-toll is the only way it could have afforded to improve the congested roads around the commercial capital, Johannesburg.
The South Africa National Roads Agency (Sanral) has urged motorists not to break the law or face living with a criminal record.
Hope for what you do not see; eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Among the five senses, sight is often the one that people value the most. I created the world gloriously beautiful, and I want you to appreciate beauty when you see it. However, even more beneficial than sight is hope, which is itself a kind of vision. It enables you to see-through the eyes of your heart-things that are not yet. The most stunning example of this is the hope of heaven. Your ultimate destiny is to share in My Glory! This is My promise to you, secured through My finished work on the cross and My resurrection.
Practice hoping for things you do not see-both for this life and the next. Ask Me to guide you into hopes and dreams that are in line with My will. Train the eyes of your heart to see these blessings, while praying for My will to be done fully and only. Discipline yourself to wait eagerly-with your focus on Me and the longed-for outcome. Remain hopeful and expectant as you wait with perseverance.
If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. -Romans 8:25 nkjv
The glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one. -John 17:22 nkjv
Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. -Hebrews 11:1 amp
There is an open road ahead of you-all the way to heaven. I am your traveling Companion, and I know every twist and turn of your path. You see problems and limitations impeding your progress no matter which direction you look. But your vision is ever so limited. All I ask of you is to take the next small step-refusing to give up, refusing to stop trusting Me.
Your life is truly a faith-walk, and I am absolutely faithful! Though your understanding will fail you, I never will. The challenge before you is to stop focusing on your problems and limitations-and to believe that the way ahead really is an open road, in spite of how it looks.
I am the Way to the Father in heaven. Remember how much I had to suffer in order to open up the path of Life for you. No one else will ever have to endure what I went through. When you are struggling, simply take the next step and thank Me for clearing the way before you-all the way to heaven.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. -1 Corinthians 10:13
We walk by faith, not by sight. -2 Corinthians 5:7 nkjv
Jesus said to [Thomas], I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. -John 14:6 nkjv
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. -Psalm 16:11