That makes them critical players in the world’s food security Azerbaijan Email List situation, and there’s never been more pressure on them. The COVID pandemic has exacerbated food shortages even as Africa’s population is booming. It’s expected to soar 85 percent by 2050. And climate change is wreaking havoc on farmers’ ability to feed them all. And yet, these small farmers themselves are some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet. Jenny Scharrer Azerbaijan Email List04:23 The African continent is facing severe hunger and poverty issues. Jonathan Levine 04:28 Jenny Scharrer is a country director at KfW, a big German development bank. She spent a decade investing in agricultural businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Jenny Scharrer 04:37 If Azerbaijan Email List you look at all the people living in poverty—that’s nearly half-a-billion people—70 percent of those are smallholder farmers.

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So unless you crack the problem of smallholder agriculture, you Azerbaijan Email List will not solve the problem of poverty in Africa. Jonathan Levine 04:58 Nigeria is a lynchpin in Africa’s smallholder problem. Not only is it the most populous country on the continent. It’s also home to a high concentration of smallholders. The key challenge is that productivity is pitifully poor. Jenny Scharrer 05:13 On the African continent, depending on the crop, you’re looking at 20 percent to 40 Azerbaijan Email List percent of the productivity that same crop would have in industrialized countries. Even among other developing countries, Africa, and Nigeria in particular, is still lagging far behind in productivity. Jonathan Levine 05:34 Farmers in Nigeria typically operate on small plots inherited Azerbaijan Email List from their families, and most use methods that haven’t changed in generations.

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As a result, crop yields are so low that more than two-thirds of Nigerian Azerbaijan Email List smallholders earn less than $1.90 a day. That leaves them little if anything to invest in their farms. Most small businesses rely heavily on bank loans to grow. But that’s not an option for these farmers. Edward Diener is Chief Operating Officer for King Philanthropies in Azerbaijan Email List California. Edward Diener 06:06 The local regional financial organizations don’t touch these customers. They’re outside any banking system. Jonathan Levine 06:15 With no hope of getting ahead, the generational cycle of rural poverty has driven millions of young people to cities in search of a better life. Ten years ago, Halliru Sale nearly left his family’s two-hectare plot near the village of Salauwa Azerbaijan Email List in northern Nigeria, in search of a blue-collar job. Halliru Sale 06:33 We had no money to buy modern fertilizers. We didn’t know anything about chemicals to kill weeds.

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