The State of Food and Agriculture 2014

Innovation in Family Farming

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More than 500 million family farms manage the majority of the world’s agricultural land and produce most of the world’s food. We need family farms to ensure global food security, to care for and protect the natural environment and to end poverty, undernourishment and malnutrition. But these goals can be thoroughly achieved if public policies support family farms to become more productive and sustainable. This edition of the The State of Food and Agriculture analyses family farms and the role of innovation in ensuring global food security, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. It argues that family farms must be supported to innovate in ways that promote sustainable intensification of production and improvements in rural livelihoods. Innovation is a process through which farmers improve their production and farm management practices.



Promoting innovation capacity for the benefit of family farms

Previous chapters have discussed the roles of research and of extension and rural advisory services in supporting innovation on family farms. A broader challenge lies in strengthening the innovation system for the benefit of family farmers, to improve their productivity, the sustainability of their production, and their livelihoods. This chapter examines how to develop innovation capacity for family farms at different levels: individual, collective and through an enabling environment.


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