August 2014 Insights Magazine

Feature article: What is the future of family farming?
September 4, 2014
by Grace Lerner

This edition of Insights, IFPRI’s print and online magazine, is available. The August 2014 issue—coming in the midst of the UN’s International Year of Family Farming—looks at the challenging future of family and smallholder farming in developing countries. Other IFPRI research highlighted in the issue includes an analysis of the economic impacts of fertilizer subsidies and new studies on the “double burden of malnutrition”—the coexistence of adult obesity and child undernutrition in the same household.

The feature article—“The Family Business”—explains that most farms throughout the world are family farms. According to IFPRI Director General Shenggen Fan, these farms are “mostly small in scale, but they are highly diverse in other ways, and their pathways out of poverty will vary.” The article considers prospects for supporting family farmers, in some cases encouraging workers to leave farming in favor of other opportunities.

In an interview with IFPRI Senior Research Fellow Ruth Meinzen-Dick, she describes her work to help poor people get their share of land, water, and other resources. Meinzen-Dick and her fellow researchers created the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index to help the US Agency for International Development and other organizations understand how agricultural development projects affect women.

The issue also includes an infographic, “Start Your Engines,” which shows how farmers across the globe are finding creative ways to make profitable use of tractors, power tillers, irrigation pumps, and other agricultural machinery.

Insights is available online in HTML. Read the full issue online.