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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Factsheet: Food and hunger

Factsheet: Food and hunger

by freeform | June 8, 2010

For a gallery of high-res photos available for publication click here.

Smallholders and women small-scale food producers

  • Women provide 70 to 80 per cent of household food production in sub-Saharan Africa , 65 percent in Asia, and 45 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean .
  • Women are significant constituents of the agricultural labor force (62, 66 and 69% in East Asia, SSA and South Asia, respectively) .
  • On a global scale, women cultivate more than half of all the food that is grown .
  • Smallholder farmers can be more efficient than large scale farmers. Evidence shows that if all output is taken into account (because often small scale farms are based on poly-culture), yields of small farms can be 20 to 60 percent higher than that of large monoculture farms.

On Hunger

  • Every day more than one billion people go to bed hungry. More than 60 percent of chronically hungry people are women.
  • Everyday, 25000 people, most of them children and women, die because of hunger and malnutrition. Every six seconds a child dies because of hunger and related causes
  • Hunger and malnutrition are the number one cause of death in the world.
  • Rescuing a person from hunger requires a donor effort of less than 150 dollars per year over 5 years and a similar figure from national governments . Not a huge cost to save a life.

On Agriculture

  • According to a new econometric study made by the UN, agriculture is up to 3.2 times better at reducing $1-day headcount poverty than non-agriculture in Sub-Saharan countries.
  • Agriculture is a source of livelihoods for an estimated 86 percent of rural people. 1.3 billion people are smallholders and landless workers. 3 billion people live in developing countries rural areas, nearly half of humanity. 2.5 billion people in developing countries depends on agriculture, 1.5 billion people are in a smallholder households.

On investments, the MDG target on Hunger, ODA and L’Aquila Initiative

  • In countries with more than 35% of the population suffering from hunger, public spending per farmer averages 14 dollars, 50 times less than in countries with lower hunger rates, where it is around 880 dollars annually.
  • With the current spending on aid on food security and agriculture, with no changes in existing policies and even if developing countries governments increase their spending on food and agriculture up to the levels required, the MDG target on Hunger will not be achieved before 2030.
  • Even if rich countries fulfil their commitments and spend 22 billion dollars over three years on agriculture and food security, and even if 6 billion were new funds, this would only represent 12% of what’s needed .
  • Support to farmers in OECD countries in 2008 (more than 375 billion dollar) represents more than 30 times the aid committed to developing countries in 2007-08 for agriculture (including forestry and fishing), rural development, food security and food aid (12.2 billion dollar) .

 

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