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Background Information

Sustainable agriculture is the strongest weapon we have in the war against poverty! Economic growth in the agriculture sector is at least twice as effective in reducing poverty, as growth in any other sectors.

The supply and quality of food, health and education are interrelated. A sufficient amount of nutritious food is essential for both good health, and the ability to learn. Almost half of all children that dies before the age of five relates to malnutrition.

Agriculture has special powers in reducing poverty.The World Bank

Most of the nearly 800 million people who are starving today are dependent on farming. We must create conditions for people in poor farming communities to become self-reliant, and work their own way out of poverty.

Food security is a prerequisite for stable societies and peaceful coexistence. Most armed conflicts in developing countries after WW2 started in the countryside.

One of the topmost catalysts for organized violence is youth unemployment. In rural areas in developing countries, a large majority of the population gets their income from agriculture. Thus, we can avoid violence by creating better employment opportunities in food production and in processing of agricultural produce.

In addition, climate change threatens global food production. No other sector depends more on functioning ecosystems than agriculture.
Climate change will bring more extreme weather. Both floods and droughts will become more frequent, and have greater impact.

This will be catastrophic for many poor farmers, and makes it difficult to make a living in rural areas in poor countries. There are already more people fleeing from the effects of climate change than from war and conflict today.

Without an increased investment in agriculture and adaptation to climate change, the world’s rural poor will have to escape to survive. Increased numbers of refugees will also affect the stability of the host countries over time. Ensuring sufficient supplies of food and water in exposed areas therefore becomes a matter of security policy.

The Development Fund Norway supports small scale farmers in their fight against hunger and poverty. We work towards a more sustainable planet and a more just world without hunger and poverty. Our development projects promote food security, adaptation to climate change, and local organizing for the rural poor in Africa, Asia and Central America.

Our approach leads to long-term poverty reduction, and our projects have shown good results. The use of improved methods of sustainable agriculture can ensure good living conditions for this and future generations. In our efforts to create a better world, we should start with agriculture.

Food production should be higher up on the international development agenda. International development aid donors and financial institutions must increase the funding of sustainable agriculture.