Smallholder farming directly and indirectly supports the livelihoods of many of the planet’s most vulnerable people, and coexists with some of its most diverse and ecologically threatened landscapes. Finding there was a lack of information around this topic, we commissioned research with NIRAS-LTS to learn more.
Smallholder supply chains
What is a smallholder farmer? Smallholder farmers are typically family-run businesses who possess limited resources in comparison to larger scale farming operations. These farmers face many constraints, including: lacking access to technology, finance, or high yield techniques, limited routes to market, low bargaining power, informal land holdings, climate vulnerabilities and resource scarcity.
Smallholder farming and deforestation
Smallholder farmers’ contribution to deforestation varies regionally and is also dependent on the commodity being farmed. For example, 75% of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa, of which 90% of the regional cocoa is produced by smallholder farmers, making this commodity a significant driver of deforestation in the region.
What best practices should we be looking out for?
This video explores the best practices to look out for when assessing smallholder supply chains, including traceability, sustainability management, company policies and sustainability reporting.
The research discussed in these videos was conducted by NIRAS in May 2021 and the full report can be accessed at NIRAS website
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