Family Farming and Rural Poverty Reduction

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1 Family Farming and Rural Poverty Reduction Guilherme Brady Coordinator- Civil Society Organizations, Producers Organizations and Cooperatives Team Partnerships, Advocacy and Capacity Development Division (OPC) Master in Human Development and Food Security University of Roma Tre Rome, 6 April

2 FAMILY FARMING : DEFINITION AND CHARACTERISTICS Often used as a synonym for: Small-scale farming (farms defined by cultivated land area); Subsistence farming (farms defined by production purpose); Peasant agriculture (farms defined by its community roots and by its autonomy from industrial inputs). Used according to different objectives: It offers an ideological framework for the protection of lifestyles; a normative framework for the promotion of policies; an academic framework to foster knowledge production about the way in which agriculture works (Sourisseau et al., 2014)

3 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FAMILY FARMING (IYFF 2014) Policy dialogue at local, regional and international levels around the world: Member States, United Nations agencies, organizations and international networks of family farmers, civil society organizations, academia and research, private sector. Regional Dialogue on Family Farming in the Near East and North Africa (Tunis, November 2013) and Global Dialogue, (Rome, November 2014): discussion on the main challenges at regional and global levels and on policies to be implemented. National Committees for the IYFF have been created in around 50 countries, involving more than 650 organisations. More than 500 meetings, workshops or conferences on Family Farming have been organised over the year across the world.

4 FAMILY FARMING : DEFINITION AND CHARACTERISTICS ' A mean of organizing agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production which is managed and operated by a family and predominantly reliant on family capital and labour, including both women s and men s. The family and the farm are linked, co-evolve and combine economic, environmental, social and cultural functions'' (FAO, 2014 IYFF legacy document).


6 FAMILY FARMING :CATEGORIES i. Family Farming with a clear market-oriented production; ii. iii. iv. Semi capitalized FF, with difficulties of access to some markets, such as the financial market and the production factors, majorly land access and land tenure; Subsistence FF that faces difficulties when trying to access land or in its tenure, with no capital and great difficulties to access formal credit, low or nil level of association, below the poverty line; Subsistence FF that fails to cover the family s basic needs, irregular tenure of land; they sell their labour off farm, receive help from the State, as policies for the social and production promotion. Family work is partly off- and partly on-farm. Below the poverty line; v. Rural wage earners that are also family farmers, with informal and/or irregular access and tenure of land; vi. vii. Forms of common use of land in partnership. Labor and production cooperatives, and community work on State-owned land; Indigenous communities native populations racial communities, shepherds, nomadic shepherds and gatherers.

7 SOME FIGURES AT THE GLOBAL LEVEL More than 570 million farms in the world, constituting more than 90 percent of farms; Family farms occupy 50 up to 75 percent of farm land (FAO, 2014a) and produce more than 80 percent of the world s food in value terms (FAO, 2014a); These factors make family farming the predominant form of food production both in developed and developing countries; The vast majority of the world s farms are small or very small, and in many lower income countries farm size is becoming even smaller; Worldwide, farms of less than 1 hectare account for 72 percent of all farms but control only 8 percent of all agricultural land (FAO, 2014a).

8 THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE WORLD S FARMS Less than 1 ha: 72% of all farms - 8% of all agricultural land Between 1 and 2 ha: 12% of all farms - 4% of the land 2 to 5 ha: 10% of all farms 7% of the land. ARE SMALL OR VERY SMALL More than 50 ha: only 1% of all farms 65% of the world s agricultural land. (FAO, 2013) 8


10 INDIA AND CHINA 59% of the world s family farms is located in India (24%) and China (35%) Family farms smaller than 1 ha are almost 95% in China and more than 60% in India 10

11 FAMILY FARMING IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Family farms feed and employ two-thirds of the population and work 62 percent of the utilized agricultural land; About 60 percent of the farms are smaller than 1 hectare, and make up close to 20 percent of the farmland; 95 percent of farms are smaller than 5 hectares and make up the majority of farmland in the region (FAO, 2014).

12 FAMILY FARMING IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC The region holds 60 percent of the world s population and 70 percent of the world s family farmers; Family Farmers work the 85 percent of the total arable land; They run 80 to 90 percent of aquaculture farms and producing 80 percent of the region s food; Women play a major role by contributing up to 85 percent of the work in family farms (FAO, 2015).

13 FAMILY FARMING IN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA There are substantial differences among sub regions (Central Asia and the European Union) and countries across the region. Family farms in the European Union, apart from France, account for more than 85 per cent of all farms. One third to one half of the population lives in rural areas in the European Union; These farms are struggling to survive given an ageing farming population, with only 7 percent of farmers below 35 years (FAO, 2015) Nearly two thirds of the population lives in rural areas in Central Asia and most of these people are involved in agriculture, predominantly family farming.

14 FAMILY FARMING IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN More than 80 percent of farms are family farms that account for more than 60 percent of agricultural workforce Family farms contribute to more than 70 percent to the consumed food in the region; Family farms further account for 12 to 67 percent of the arable land; Moreover, the region is experiencing an increasing share of women engaged in agriculture, with female producers increasing by over five percentage points over the past decade (Salcedo et al., 2014).

15 FAMILY FARMING IN NEAR EAST AND NORTH AFRICA About 40 percent of the region s population lives and works in rural areas and nearly 85 percent of agricultural land holdings are farmed by families. More than 80 percent of agricultural production is provided by small-scale family farming. Family farms control only 25 percent of arable land, and the average size of a family farm in the region is less than 2 hectares and is steadily decreasing. Between 25 and 40 percent of the labour on family farms is provided by women and their role is increasingly important, especially given the steady increase in male out-migration (FAO, 2014).

16 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FAMILY FARMING: LEGACY Formulation and improvement of national and regional policies, programs and activities, and institutional arrangements in support of Family Farming, including smallholder farming; The Family Farming Knowledge Platform ( a comprehensive and up-to-date digital collection of policy, scientific, legal and statistical information on Family Farming, to support policy making and exchange of experiences; Family farming was included in the follow-up on the Zero Hunger Challenge in 2012, in the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in 2014 and in the preparation for the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda and the SDGs.

17 FAMILY FARMING AND THE SDGS The recognition of Family Farming s centrality is showed by many different goals and targets, that constitutes an integrated, indivisible set of global priorities that address Family Farming in all its dimensions relevant to sustainable development SDG 2 - a specific target (2.3), is dedicated to the strengthening of family farmers, thereby recognising their central role in combining environmental sustainability and food security

18 FAMILY FARMING WITHIN FAO S STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK Strategic Objectives: Mainly SO3: Reduce rural poverty Family Farming is also relevant for the other SOs and related activities Regional Initiatives All the Initiatives deal with the root causes of family farmers vulnerability Three Initiatives directly address Family Farming as their main theme.

19 STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION WORLDWIDE The canonical pathway of structural transformation: exit of workers from agriculture towards industry and service This entails a shift from a low-income society in which agriculture absorbs most labor and generates most economic output to a high-income society characterized by a relatively smaller but more productive agricultural sector (Barrett et al, 2015). Although structural and rural transformations are occurring worldwide, their patterns, their speeds and their outcomes differ widely across regions and countries In most countries, the growth of industry and services in urban areas is not able to absorb the rural labor force expelled from agriculture, also considering increasing demographic trends. 19

20 CLASSIC PATTERNS OF STRUCTURAL CHANGES HAVE NOT OCCURRED IN ALL REGIONS Western pattern: inverse correlation between increasing GDP per capita and decreasing share of percentage of labor force employed in agriculture (de Janvry and Sadoulet, 2011) China: GDP per capita is increasing without a significant reduction of the agricultural labor force Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin america: The share of agricultural labor force is decreasing without a significant increase in GDP per capita (from different starting points)

21 NEED FOR A PRO-POOR, INCLUSIVE STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION As shown, structural transformation does not automatically imply poverty reduction and food security Different actors and the public sector in particular have a role to play in shaping transformation and make it inclusive, thus allowing the poor to lift out of poverty without being forced to migrate to urban areas. 21

22 WHY FAO S FOCUS ON RURAL POVERTY REDUCTION? 1. Reducing rural poverty is key to eliminating hunger and malnutrition; 2. Between 2/3 to 3/4 of people living in extreme poverty live in rural areas; Vast majority in East Asia, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa 3. Despite recent economic growth, inequalities still pervasive, between economic classes, rural and urban areas, regions, ethnic groups and men and women; Women have unequal access to and control over productive assets and income 4. Most of the poor depend on agriculture, livestock, fishing or forest resources for their livelihoods; 5. Five hundred million smallholder farms worldwide support around two billion people, or one third of humanity

23 GLOBAL CHALLENGES AFFECTING RURAL POVERTY REDUCTION AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT Growing population; Precarious urbanization; Increasing scarcity of natural resources; Arising competition for access and use of resources; Mass international, regional and domestic migrations; Climate change effects and increasing vulnerability 23

24 MAIN CHALLENGES IN EASTERN EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA Land reforms remain incompleted and unfinished Prevalence of small farms in farm structure and output Absence of property rights and lack of transparency in land deals Per capita food production and consumption rose (at different rate) Individualization of agriculture has contributed to sector growth (yield increases), Food self-sufficiency as FF survival strategy and response to risky market, but still, substantial levels of malnourishment in some countries Growing climate change- related risks and environmental challenges in all countries Low overall collective (local communities, marginalised, mountainous) and individual (farmers) capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change Poorly managed irrigation and drainage systems, limited investments, lack of support from and access to extension services Linkages between gender and climate change adaptation - KG, TJK; 24

25 MAIN CHALLENGES IN THE NEAR EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Pressing need to increase the production while minimizing its arduousness, and the impact on the fragile environment Opportunities to exit agriculture in rural areas are limited. Lack of ability to provide decent employment to younger generations as a guarantee of long-term stability and growth Security in general is a major concern: climate change, conflicts and migrations caused by deteriorating living conditions, particularly in rural and marginalized areas are at the centre of the problems in the region. 25

26 WHY STRENGTHENING FAMILY FARMING TO ACHIEVE POVERTY REDUCTION? A challenging goal at the global level : providing a growing population with sufficient and quality food, without threatening the already depleted natural resource base. Sustainability as the basis for the needed structural transformation of the agri-food systems, in order to: ensure food and nutrition security, preserve the environment provide jobs and social development opportunities for rural communities 26

27 WHY STRENGTHENING FAMILY FARMING TO ACHIEVE POVERTY REDUCTION? Support to family farms allows to cope with the challenges related to sustainability in its different dimensions: Economic sustainability: FF represent the largest source of employment worldwide, enhancing rural livelihoods, providing economic opportunities in rural areas, and representing an opportunity to boost local economies, as their incremental generated income is spent on housing, education, clothing, and other sectors of the local nonfarm economy. Environmental sustainability: FF act as the custodians of a finely adapted understanding of local ecologies and land capabilities, and sustaining productivity on often marginal lands through complex and innovative land management techniques that combine local knowledge with modern technology. Social sustainability: the existence of family farms are the first guarantees of maintaining culture, diversity and identity as a fundamental part of the social capital and cultural heritage in rural areas. 27

28 HOW STRENGTHENING FAMILY FARMING TO ACHIEVE POVERTY REDUCTION? FAO S APPROACH ( SP3) A multi-pronged approach consisting of three outcome areas: Access through empowerment of smallholders and family farmers to attain sustainable economic livelihoods from agriculture and natural resources through strengthening rural institutions and farmer producer organizations, improving rural services and links to markets; Rural employment creation, in order to augment on-farm and off-farm livelihoods; Strengthened social protection systems in rural areas and economies to reduce rural poverty while building resilience to risks and disasters. 28

29 HOW STRENGTHENING FAMILY FARMING TO ACHIEVE POVERTY REDUCTION? LINKING AGRICULTURAL AND SOCIAL PROTECTION POLICIES Agricultural and social protection policies are both fundamental levers to overcome rural poverty Helping small farmers to improve productivity is important, but in most contexts is not enough to lift all rural poor out of poverty, which in turn limit agricultural productivity itself. Providing social protection and pursuing agricultural development in an integrated way offers synergies that can increase the effectiveness of both Better social protection can positively influence the investment decisions of poor households, helping poor farmers to overcome liquidity and credit constraints, invest in productive activities build assets and manage risks more effectively. These benefits spread beyond the immediate recipients to their communities and the broader economy as recipients purchase food, agricultural inputs and other rural goods and services. 29

30 HOW STRENGTHENING FAMILY FARMING TO ACHIEVE POVERTY REDUCTION? TOWARDS A NEW RURAL DEVELOPMENT APPROACH An effective and inclusive territorial development must: Be tailored in accordance with local realities and overcome the sectoral perspective Recognize the heterogeneity of agricultural producers and promote differentiated public policies for the most vulnerable Going beyond sectoral to more holistic strategies, by linking social protection, productive policies, infrastructures, services Improve farmers capacities and education and stimulate their participation thanks to stronger POs 30

31 SOME TOOLS FOR SUPPORTING FAMILY FARMERS AT THE POLICY LEVEL: Farm registries: Help identify poor family farmers and allow countries to design policies and programmes that specifically address their needs. Multi-stakeholders platforms for policy dialogue: Promote coordination among governments and non-state actors and empower producers organizations to become agents of change. Inter-ministerial collaboration: Helps formulate cross-sectoral policies to address the challenges that poor family farmers face in their daily lives and improve their livelihoods. 31

32 Thank you for your attention