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UNEP-WCMC and IFAD Release Report on Food Security and Smallholders

smallholders_report4 June 2013: In conjunction with the celebration of World Environment Day and its 2013 theme, 'Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint,' the UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) released a report titled 'Smallholders, Food Security and the Environment.' The report aims to improve policymakers' and practitioners' understanding of the relationships between smallholders, food security and the environment, and contends that, with targeted support, smallholder farmers can unleash a sustainable agricultural revolution.

The report includes three main messages: smallholders are a vital, yet an often neglected part of the global agricultural community; smallholder productivity depends on well-functioning ecosystems; and growth in agricultural production to meet rising global needs using prevailing farming practices is unsustainable, and a transformation is therefore needed.

The report advocates investment in market-based mechanisms to provide incentives to smallholders, including: removing subsidies on unsustainable fertilizers; and expanding fair or green certification schemes that allow smallholders to compete in new niche markets locally and internationally. [UN Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [IFAD Press Release] [Publication: Small Holders, Food Security and the Environment]