The global population is expected to reach more than nine billion people by the year 2050, and nearly 900 million people go to bed hungry every night.
– Family Farming: Food Tank by the Numbers
Family farms are more important than ever.
The United Nations named 2014 the International Year of Family Farming to raise awareness of family and smallholder farmers and their critical role in nourishing the world and conserving the earth’s natural resources. Food Tank: The Food Think Tank just published a report to help the rest of us understand why we should care.
As it turns out, there are more than 500 million family farmers on our planet, with more than 2 billion people depending on those family farms for their livelihoods. And we need them all.
We need them to improve the quality of our food supply by growing more nutrient-dense foods. We need them to preserve diversity: Apparently, we’ve lost about 75 percent of the world’s plant genetic resources and another third of today’s crop biodiversity could disappear by 2050. And they play such an important role in caring for our natural resources, like soil and water.
Yet these farmers are often woefully under-compensated, many living in poverty or depending on non-farming income to pay their living expenses. We need to know that this is important. We need to help them succeed and prosper, because we depend on the positive impact they can have on our global community.
Read the full report and see if it doesn’t make you think differently about food and agriculture globally.
What I’m struggling with is that neither this report nor the UN’s campaign web sites tell me what you or I can do to make a difference. Need to ponder that… Let me know what you think.
Image Credit: Family Farm via Shutterstock