Small Farmers Key to Global Food Security

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb. 12 (UPI) — Helping the world’s smallest farms stay abreast of climate change and competition is key to feeding the planet’s growing population, scientists in Kenya said.

Small farmers are neglected by agricultural aid policies, yet collectively they feed most of the world’s 1 billion low-income people, said the Kenyan-based International Livestock Research Institute.

Small farmers need help in understanding and coping with climate change, which will alter growing conditions, institute officials said in a recent issue of Science. They also need help in dealing with finite natural resources, including water, arable land and fossil fuels needed to produce fuel and fertilizer.

Most alarming, however, is that many regions in the poorest parts of the world already are being aggressively farmed and are close to being “tapped out” in terms of capacity for production, said Mario Herrero, a senior scientist at the institute.

“In most regions of the world, farming systems are under intense pressure,” Herrero said.

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