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Hungry for land: small farmers feed the world with less than a quarter of all farmland

This report published by the non-profit Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN) uses statistics from national censuses and development organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to assess the global state of small-scale farming. GRAIN found that, even though small farms feed most of the world’s population and are considerably more productive than larger commodity farms, they account for less than a quarter of the world’s total farmland. Furthermore, the share of farmland held by small farms is falling, primarily due to the expansion of large-scale commodity crop farms that channel limited resources away from local food production and towards industry. GRAIN argues that the most efficient and sustainable way to increase food crop yield to meet rising global demand is not to consolidate land in industrial-scale farms, but to secure and expand small-scale farmers’ access and ownership rights to land and natural resources.

Keywords: large-scale land acquisition, land commoditization, customary land tenure, women agriculturalists.

Uploaded on: Jul 27, 2015
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
Year Published: 2014

Resource Tags

Resource Type: Practitioner Resources Issues: Community / Customary Land Rights, Environmental Justice Tool Type: Reports / Research Method: Research Languages: English Regions: > Global