Marc van der Sterren*
Chief Editor and Consultant at FarmingAfrica, Netherlands
*Corresponding Author: AMarc van der Sterren, Chief Editor and Consultant at FarmingAfrica, Netherlands.
Received: May 18, 2018; Published: June 25, 2018
Citation: Marc van der Sterren. "Smarter Farmers". Acta Scientific Agriculture 2.7 (2018).
Preface: This essay has a simple message: the world will need far more food and small-scale family farmers can provide that if they become smarter farmers. And they can become smarter farmers if they get access to independent, and pluriform information. The essay goes on to show that all seventeen sustainable development goals can be reached by 2030 if small-scale family farmers in the world (and particularly in Africa, and particularly women) will be the most important focus group for governments and development organisations.
This essay also has a second message, that is more controversial: world food production has become a profit-creating domain for a limited number of global agro-multinationals, and they dominate government policies, information streams, and scientific research. Their inputs create dependent farmers, who remain poor, and who are forced to produce food that threatens the environment, enhances climate change, and is not always healthy for human consumption. Instead, small-scale family farmers produce food by using what is called agro-ecological ways of farming, that are more, healthy for people, and more sustainable for the environment. And, provided they are getting adequate advice and can use independent knowledge (that is: knowledge not coming from the agro-multinationals) they can increase yields a lot. So much even that farming does not need to use land that is hitherto used for other functions that are important to maintain..
Copyright: © 2018 Marc van der Sterren. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.