There are millions of small-scale farmers in Africa, of which at least half are women. Many are poor and food insecure and have limited access to markets and services. Despite challenging policy and institutional obstacles, their collective efforts feed millions of people every day. They could unleash their considerable potential.
We know that food insecurity can be caused by a number of factors including poverty, conflict, drought, climate change, low agricultural productivity and disease. To help prevent future widespread food insecurity, agriculture experts and policymakers must focus on driving up productivity, improving diet and nutrition, boosting resilience, increasing inclusivity, enhancing access to information, and better managing economic, political and environmental risks.
African countries need to support small scale farmers by strengthening education and vocational training, building capacity for young people to self-organize, linking them to regional and global chains, and investing in infrastructure and technologies.