By Albert Makendenge
Every part, little or big, has got a part to play; be it a human being or any other physical structure or creation. It is actually the smallest ones which are often neglected and ignored which may be accredited for the most essential roles and contributions to the whole. Their absence will certainly put one or two things out of place.
This is exactly what can be said about smallholder farmers all over the world. A detailed research by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shows that the world’s smallholders produce a third of the world’s food. And yet for such a massive contribution it seems they are not recognized or supported enough and often trapped in endless cycles of low-intensity, low-yield and subsistence-oriented farming. Big and established commercial operations are seemingly muscling out these small farmers out of the way and all the way from input acquisition to the very end of the supply and value chain. And yet if not for their contribution the food insecurity situation would be a whole lot worse. As small as they maybe, in their numbers they are able to bring about a significant impact. They thrive in the most difficult of circumstances through locally available resources and one would imagine the lengths to which they would go if only they were afforded favorable terms and conditions for growth and improvement.
Research clearly suggests that the achievement of poverty alleviation and food security by 2030 has a lot to do with supporting the growth and capacitation of the small holder farmers and it is high time they are given the necessary adequate attention.