Two smallholder farmers in a field in Africa

Worldwide: supporting smallholder farmers make progress

Smallholder farmers in developing countries often lack the knowledge and opportunities to develop their farms further. By joining forces in cooperatives, they can help each other to make progress. Rabo Foundation supports these farmers’ cooperatives, thereby strengthening the farmers, their communities and the global food chain.

What is the problem?

There are more than 500 million smallholder farmers in the world. Every day, on their own small plot of land, they do their very best to make a good living. For their families and their communities. They don’t have the money to invest and grow because local banks often consider them too small or too risky to grant them credit. They also lack knowledge of improved farming techniques. Climate change is increasingly causing their harvests to fail. In addition, they lack access to markets where they can sell their products.

What is the solution?

Partnerships. By joining forces, these farmers can strengthen their position and open up doors that were previously closed to them. Stronger farmers’ organizations act as an important driver of economic progress. They help smallholder farmers to grow their farming businesses and produce food sustainably. They open up new markets to farmers and ensure that they receive a fair, higher price. This delivers higher incomes and better living conditions. And if the farmers succeed, then their families benefit too. In fact, the entire community thrives.

How is Rabo Foundation helping?

In order to succeed, cooperatives need access to funding, expertise and useful contacts. Since 1974, we have been working to deliver such access, in order to strengthen and professionalize farmers’ organizations all over the world. These efforts help large numbers of smallholder farmers on their way to economic self-reliance.

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