Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy
Regenerative Agriculture campaign banner

NEW REPORT: Food Tank by the Numbers: Family Farming

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Organic Transitions Page.

As the world celebrates the International Year of Family Farming, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank highlights new research showing how family farms, can nourish the world while protecting the environment. The new report, Food Tank by the Numbers: Family Farming, features original research from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and draws on dozens of agriculture and sustainability experts. 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. Soils are 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," says Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank President.

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.    
Get 20% off Mercola products, plus 20% of the sale goes to Organic Consumers Association.

Get Local

Find News and Action for your state:
Regeneration International

Cool the planet.
Feed the world.