The challenge we face

Sustainable Development Goal 1 calls for no poverty. But today, an estimated 200 million smallholder farmers are producing food within supply chains and far too many of them live in poverty. This is unacceptable. The current supply chain model isn't working and it's time for change.

To feed the world, the food industry needs farmers who are thriving, efficient and productive. That means farmers need an income that enables a decent standard of living.

To get there, we'll need bold new ideas and solutions. Because economic poverty won't be solved with the same thinking that perpetuates it. 

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Some of the many factors affecting farmer income

  • Number of household members
  • Sources of off farm household income
  • Financial shocks
  • Gender roles and norms in the household
  • Ethnic and socioeconomic status of household in the community
  • Financial literacy
  • Price
  • Cost of production: inputs, land, labour
  • Farm size
  • Crop mix
  • Condition and quality of farm location
  • Access to farming knowledge and training
  • Access to short and long term financing
  • Productivity
  • Premiums
  • Access to post harvest storage
  • Access to machinery and equipment
  • Access to markets for crops
  • Terms of trade in the supply chain
  • Access to water
  • Access to inputs
  • Availability of labour
  • Investment in infrastructure
  • Provision of extension services, resources, inputs and farmer knowledge
  • Investment in agricultural research
  • Equal rights to land and ownership amongst men and women
  • Equal rights to economic resources and financial services for men and women
  • Taxes and legislation on sale of crops
  • Provision of support for food processing and marketing
  • Political stability
  • Climate change
  • Weather
  • Trade policy
  • Competition

What's needed for change?

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Impact at scale

There are not enough examples of successful strategies and business models to significantly increase farmer incomes to the level and scale required.

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Outcomes over activities

So far, strategies have been focussed on activities instead of outcomes, and aren't designed to deliver the scale of change we need.

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An agreed goal

There's been a lack of full consensus around what the long-term goal for farmer income should be.

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Clear roles and deeper collaboration

The challenge is too big for any one organisation to solve alone. It needs all of us — businesses, NGOs and governments — to convene and collaborate, each playing our own unique role.

Whats needed for change