Family Farming

What exactly is family farming?

Given their diversity, it would be more accurate to speak of family farming systems in plural.

The defining characteristic of family farming systems is farms that are managed by single families and depend mainly on non-salaried family labour. With more than 500 million family farms worldwide, they are still the main form of agriculture in both the North and the South.

What kind of agriculture to feed the world?

The current agro-industrial model is showing its limits; we produce more food than we need to feed everyone, but nearly one billion people are going hungry. If hunger has that many victims today, how will we feed 9 billion people in 2050?

On the environmental level, the agro-industrial model also has many inconveniences: soil depletion, massive use of water reserves, land erosion, etc.

Family farming systems have immense potential to meet the challenges of food security, social equity and environmental sustainability:

  1. A guarantee of sustainable food
    Family farming systems produce 70% of the world’s food and employ 40% of the population. Supporting them is therefore making a direct contribution to food security.
  2. An anti-poverty weapon
    According to the World Bank, developing agriculture is two to four times more effective in fighting poverty than developing other sectors.
  3. Environmentally friendly
    Family farming systems help protect biodiversity and sustainable natural resource use.

SOS Faim and family farming systems

SOS Faim supports agriculture through three complementary areas that strengthen each other:

  • Policy
    Allow farmers’ organisations to participate actively in international, national and local debates on agricultural policy and influence these policies.
  • Finances
    Facilitate rural populations’ access to financial services that allow them to purchase agricultural equipment and influence these services.
  • Production
    Support production, processing and marketing so as to improve the agricultural performance of family farms.