Small Farmers Are the Answer

Small Farmers Are the Answer

This blog was written by Bill Gates for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is posted here with their permission.

On May 24, I’ll be giving a speech in Washington, D.C . to draw attention to farming families in the developing world and the important role they play in cutting hunger and poverty. I need your help in making the case about why small farmers are so important – in fact, I want you to share your best ideas and help spread the word.

Why farming? Many people don’t realize it, but most of the world’s poorest people are small farmers. They get their food and income farming small plots of land. These farming families often don’t have good seeds, equipment, reliable markets, or money to invest that helps them get the most out of their land. So they work hard, but they get no traction, and more often than not, they stay hungry and poor.

We know that smart investments in farming families help them become self-sufficient. We know that increasing productivity while preserving the environment leads to higher incomes and better lives over the long-term. But governments are not living up to their pledges to provide this kind of support to small farmers.

Solving hunger and poverty is both an urgent problem and long-term challenge. But what gives me hope is that we know that investments are working.

Our foundation has invested $1.7 billion to date to help small farmers in Africa and South Asia. We have seen great progress in the work of our grantees and other organizations. I’ll be sharing some of that progress in my speech later this month.

Please join me. Tell the world why we should listen to small farmers and do everything we can to meet their needs. Go to our challenge page to send us your best ideas.

At the end of the challenge, I’ll highlight a few of the best entries.

For more information on how you can get involved in the challenge:

Bill Gates

About Bill Gates

Bill Gates is co-chair and trustee for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: www.gatesfoundation.org
This entry was posted in Economic Development, Land Rights and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Small Farmers Are the Answer

  1. Patricia says:

    Investing in small farmers means contributing to sustainable livelihoods. It is important to have enough knowledge on the assets and activities of these small farmers and work together with them to build their capital and enhance the activitiea(livelihood strategies in place. I am finalising a PhD proposal on the assets, livelihood strategies and the wellbeing of people in Densely Populated areas of eastearn Arch Mountains in Tanzania. I will be glad to share the findings in this group.

    • Landesa Landesa says:

      Dear Patricia,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and I think we are aligned in our approach to developing sustainable livelihoods. We too work with farmers based upon their assets (land) and livelihood activities (agriculture). Our understanding is that if a farmer has secure rights to the land they till, they can invest in that asset to improve their agricultural activities and have more ownership. Although we focus on rural populations, we would be very interested in reading your findings on assets and livelihoods in Tanzania.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

From Our Blog

Roy Prosterman

Four Proven Innovations to Provide Secure Land Rights

The following blog is taken from the remarks of Landesa Founder Roy Prosterman made today before the European Parliament’s High-Level Conference on Property Rights: The Missing Key to Eradicating Poverty. When we are dealing with complicated, stubborn and large-scale problems, …
Read More

Omaira Bolaños

Commentary Series, Part IX: Forest Tenure Security for Long Term Security against Deforestation

This post is part of a series developed by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Landesa to highlight the importance of securing land rights for smallholder farmers. This series is running concurrently with the World Bank’s 2014 Land and Poverty Conference taking place in Washington, …
Read More

Kumar Navulur

Commentary Series, Part VIII: Satellite Technology and Innovation Can be Used to Secure Land and Property Rights

This post is part of a series developed by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Landesa to highlight the importance of securing land rights for smallholder farmers. This series is running concurrently with the World Bank’s 2014 Land and Poverty Conference taking place in Washington, …
Read More

On Twitter