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Can Small-Scale Farmers Stop Climate Change?


“Small scale farming could be part of the solution to climate change, according to some of the world’s top scientists. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) contributing writer Professor Jack Heinemann from UC’s School of Biological Sciences says small scale farmers feed 80% of the world, and use less carbon-intensive inputs.

Industrial agriculture uses carbon intensive inputs to support large monoculture crops, while small farmers, who produce an astounding proportion of food, don’t, Professor Heinemann says.

‘Small scale food producers currently produce about 80% of the world’s food,’ he says, ‘and they have potential to not only increase the proportion of their contribution, but the total that they produce.’

Small scale farmers are mostly women, he says. This is important because evidence shows that women in developing countries tend to do better at investing money from small businesses back into their families.

Even without climate change, a change in food systems that shifted financial resources to small scale farmers would have collateral benefits of improving the conditions for women and children because women are more likely to use increased income to purchase health care and education for their families.”

Learn more: Are Small-Scale Farms Future of Global Agriculture?