What is smallholder agriculture

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Smallholder farmers are also defined as those farmers owning small-based plots of land on which they grow subsistence crops and one or two cash crops relying almost exclusively on family labour

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. Smallholder farmers are the drivers of many economies in Africa even though their potential is often not brought forward.

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What is the meaning of smallholder farming?

In many developing countries, smallholding is a small plot of land with low rental value, used to grow crops. By some estimates, there are 525 million smallholder farmers in the world. These farms vary in land sizes, production and labor intensities.

What is the role of smallholders in agribusiness?

Smallholders dominate production in certain key sectors such as coffee and cocoa. Various types of agribusinesses enterprises work with smallholding farmers in a range of roles including buying crops, providing seed, and acting as financial institutions.

Are smallholder farms common in developing countries?

The truth is smallholder farms are common in both developing and developed countries. And, though individual acreage is small – what they do is not. Smallholder farms produce 80% of the world’s food supply. They are mostly efficient, high-yielding enterprises! Smallholder farms contribute tremendously to:

Why are smallholder farmers leaving the agriculture industry?

Smallholder farmers are under financial pressure and thus may choose to switch crops or even exit, contributing to global patterns of urbanisation and threatening the sustainability of the industries that rely on these raw materials.

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What is a smallholder farm?

Smallholder farms refers to farms that are less than five acres in size. Most people think they only exist in developing countries. The truth is smallholder farms are common in both developing and developed countries. And, though individual acreage is small – what they do is not. Smallholder farms produce 80% of the world’s food supply.


Why are smallholder farms important?

A bigger percentage of their land is allocated to production of food crops. These farms also play a vital role in environmental sustainability and conservation.


How many smallholder farms are there in the world?

There are about 475 million smallholder farms worldwide. They are in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe and some in the United States.


Where are smallholder farmers located?

They are in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe and some in the United States. About two-thirds of all farms in Europe are smallholder. Smallholder farmers sell their food locally, reducing the carbon footprint of the food. In addition, they grow a variety of crops, increasing both food diversity and biodiversity. Credit: Terry Tindall.


Do smallholder farms have mechanized production?

Additionally, most smallholder farms are not heavil y mechanized, and a bulk of their produce is often marketed locally. Combined, this reduces their carbon footprint. One downfall is that smallholder farms are reported to have is a slightly higher percentage of carbohydrate production.


Is poverty rampant in smallholder farms?

Despite smallholder farms being higher yielding, poverty is still rampant among farmers and their households. They often cannot afford basic needs. Investing or reinvesting in equipment is often difficult. All farmers must continue to work with extreme weather patterns like drought and floods.


What is a smallholder farmer?

Smallholder farmers are also defined as those farmers owning small-based plots of land on which they grow subsistence crops and one or two cash crops relying almost exclusively on family labour.


What are the characteristics of smallholder farming?

One of the main characteristics of production systems of smallholder farmers are of simple, outdated technologies, low returns, high seasonal labour fluctuations and women playing a vital role in production.


How many smallholder farmers are there in South Africa?

In South Africa, there are approximately two million smallholder or household farmers compared to 35 000 commercial growers.


How much of our food is produced by smallholder farmers?

Globally, smallholder farmers produce 70% of our food, but individually they are often cut out of the trade which results in increased poverty. There is nothing “small” about smallholders. Not in their numbers. Not in the challenges they face.


Where do smallholder farms operate?

These smallholder farms operate on 12% of the world’s agricultural land and produce 80% of the food that is consumed in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, parts of the world where food security and stable income are still inadequate.


Why are poor yields important?

Poor yields may be one of the reasons why urban and rural households either abandon or are uninterested in agricultural production. There is therefore a need to significantly increase the productivity of smallholder farmers to ensure long term food security.


What do you need to know about smallholder farmers?

What you need to know. Smallholder farmers grow their crops within a limited cropland area and are typically family run. Interviewing practitioners working directly with smallholder farmers helps in illuminating new and practical insights from the field.


How can researchers improve smallholder yield?

Researchers can improve smallholder yield by helping corporations understand and influence smallholder farmer behaviour. Abstract. Increasing smallholder farmers’ yields has proven difficult and sophisticated industries have developed in order to address this problem.


Why are farmers excluded from the national market?

Recognise that farmers are often excluded from the national market due to distance to market, time-constraints in selling crops, and the lack of appropriate certifications. In addition, some nations are not able to negotiate good crop prices.


Most recent answer

A larger issue that emerges from the analysis of the various facets of agricultural transformation in the Asian context is whether it is possible to sustain smallholder dynamism, which was instrumental in driving agricultural growth in Asia in the GR era (Viswanathan, et al., 2012).


Popular Answers (1)

With all honesty to the question raised by the Prof and the trend of discussions it has generated, I think that SHA agriculture is the bedrock of economic development in a typical developing nation, Nigeria as an example. It supplies food and empolyment for a large proportion of the populace.


All Answers (77)

Austrian Association for Scientific Research in Agriculture, Life Sciences and the Environment


Why was agriculture important to civilization?

During the earliest civilizations, agriculture was a part of daily life that supported communities and small societies for their sustenance. A dependable food supply allowed us to evolve from hunting and gathering to lead more a refined, sophisticated way of living. Other forms of livelihood became possible because of the evolution …


Is small scale farming sustainable?

Small-scale farming is encouraged by many organizations worldwide—seen as a sustainable alternative, it has considerably less effect on the environment and puts less pressure on resources as compared to industrial agriculture.


Is support for smallholder farmers still lacking?

Despite the positive reports, support for smallholder farmers is still lacking. Governments still fail to give proper assistance to struggling farmers who need structures and institutions to continue their work properly.

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