In the developing world, farmers with two hectares of land or less make up the majority of the rural workforce and produce most of the food. About half are women. But many of these farmers and their families suffer from hunger each year.
Working with smallholder farmers to improve their livelihoods is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty and hunger. We are encouraging Canada to maintain strong support for food security in its international development work, and to deliver high quality programming that meets the needs of smallholder farmers.
What have we accomplished?
The Canadian Foodgrains Bank, through its leadership on the Food Security Policy Group, was instrumental in the Canadian government’s decision in 2009 to make agriculture and food security a key priority in its development work and to target interventions to the most vulnerable, including women and smallholder farmers.
What are we still working on?
The 2009 Food Security Strategy included three years of funding commitments (2008/09 through 2010/11). For these years, Canada led the world with the highest percentage of aid devoted to food security.
From 2011 through 2014, Canada’s commitment to nutrition and food assistance remained strong, but support for agriculture significantly declined. We are now working to reverse that decline and encouraging Canada to boost support for agricultural development.
In 2013, we published an independent assessment of Canada’s international food security work, drawn from research in two of Canada’s countries of focus. This demonstrated that Canada is on the right track and should continue to invest in food security. It also pointed out areas for improvement. We are now using this assessment in discussion with government officials
In 2014, we began work on the Good Soil campaign to strengthen support for small-scale farmers. Through research, policy dialogue and public campaigning, we hope to convince the Canadian government to re-invest in global food security.
In 2016, we proposed a signature investment of $2.5 billion over five years to support sustainable agriculture and climate change adaptation for small-scale farmers, especially women. This proposal has been endorsed by more than 35 international development organizations and 10 leading Canadian academics. Talks with Global Affairs Canada are ongoing.
- Agriculture for Clean & Inclusive Economic Growth (English/French) (2016)
- Equal Harvests: how investing in agricultural development can empower women (2016)
- Sustainable Harvests: how investing in agriculture can help farmers address environmental challenges (2015)
- Money in the Pocket, Food on the Table: the economic case for investing in agricultural development (2015)
- Growing Nutrition: how investing in agricultural development can improve nutrition(2015)
- Fertile Ground: An assessment of CIDA’s investments in food and farming – July 2013
- How Does the Foodgrains Bank’s Advocacy Work Make a Difference? – March 2013