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Smallholder farmers are generally defined as farmers cultivating less than two hectares of land. Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people get their food and income from farming these small plots.i Productivity on these plots in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia is extremely low compared to the rest of the world, in terms of both yield and labor.

Desired Equilibrium

Agricultural productivity has increased in developing countries to reach levels consistent with wealthier nations, increasing global food security while agricultural land is sustainably managed. All smallholder farmers are able to utilize advanced farming techniques and resources. Due to increases in yield and income, they no longer suffer from undernourishment or poverty.

Ways Skoll social entrepreneurs are addressing the issue:
  • Directly selling or providing inputs products and technical assistance to smallholders to achieve higher crop yield (International Development Enterprises-India, Kickstart, One Acre Fund, Proximity Designs, Root Capital, Roots of Peace)
  • Facilitating smallholder financial security and growth through loans, bank accounts, and financing for agricultural inputs (Kiva, One Acre Fund, Proximity Designs, Root Capital)
  • Solidifying smallholders’ stakes in property, opening the gate for greater investment in their land (Landesa)
  • Efficiently operating multiple steps in the agriculture supply chain to achieve cost savings, fair working conditions, and higher wages (Fair Trade USA, One Acre Fund)