Smallholder Support Key in Cargill’s Participation in the Zero Hunger Challenge

January 5, 2015

Long-time Alliance member Cargill continued its commitment to improving food security worldwide through its recent support for the Zero Hunger Challenge.

Cargill believes commercial smallholder farmers are critical to helping make the world more food secure. Factors that will enable them to transition from subsistence farming into commercially viable business include:

  • Agronomic training and practical support. Smallholder farmers need training in agricultural best practices and access to inputs, credit, storage and technology to increase their productivity in a sustainable way, which raises their own living standards and produces surpluses to help nourish others.
  • Establishing revenue certainty. Smallholder farmers often are forced to sell at harvest when prices are low which creates a cycle of discouraging further production in future years. Farmers in developing countries need reliable markets into which to sell their crops each season and an adequate price to compensate them for their efforts and provide incentive to continue production the following year.
  • Managing risk. Farmers need access to crop insurance and other risk management tools so they can rebound from crop failures or other growing season fluctuations.
  • Clarifying rural property rights. Farmers must be able to own their land and pledge it as collateral if they are expected to reinvest and raise their productivity over time.

Cargill works with smallholder farmers in many countries around the world to help them improve their productivity and incomes. For example, in Java Cargill is working with student entrepreneurs to educate them on best practices in bird feeding and care. Watch how this means healthier birds and higher incomes for the farmers.

In Honduras, farmer Jose Fausto Díaz has also seen the value of training provided to his co-op by Cargill and CARE. Today, Jose is producing enough food to feed his family and earn an income.  Watch how Jose is learning to grow more and earn more for his family, thanks to a partnership with CARE that helps 27,000 farmers in Central America, India and Africa.

Masawutso Mbewe and Fanelly Ngwira, are two of the 70,000 smallholder farmers Cargill works with in Zambia. Through farmer field schools and women’s clubs, Cargill is providing high-quality inputs to help  increase crop yields and productivity while also helping some of the women’s clubs diversify into  beekeeping and poultry projects to generate more income for their family. Watch now to learn how 1,600 farmer training schools and 800 women’s clubs help lift farmers from subsisting to thriving.

Improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers is just one of the five elements of the Zero Hunger Challenge. which calls on public and private institutions to eliminate childhood stunting due to malnutrition in the next two years; enable all people to have access to adequate food all year round; make all food systems sustainable; increase in smallholder productivity and incomes by 100 percent and eliminate food loss and waste.

Over the last five years, Cargill has contributed more than $83 million to reduce hunger and improve nutrition around the world through partnerships with a diverse group of global, national and local organizations. Cargill employees also provide hands-on support to local organizations by making contributions and volunteering in activities that address both immediate needs and long-term solutions to end hunger.  Learn more about how Cargill is committed to eliminating hunger.