Around 2 billion people are undernourished. These people are often smallholder farmers and found overwhelmingly in low-income countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Food security will become an even more urgent challenge, as Asia and Africa are expected to experience the bulk of population growth in the coming decades as well as being directly affected by impacts of climate change.
This failure by humanity is challenged in the UN Sustainability Development Goal (SDG): “End hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”, which is number two on the list of seventeen goals.
A programme for increased social, economic and environmental sustainability
The AgriFoSe2030 programme directly targets the SDG2 in low-income countries through a science-based approach on local, regional and global scales. AgriFoSe2030 aim to transform practices toward more efficient use of human, financial and natural resources. This transformation thereby increases social, economic and environmental sustainability while taking different aspects of resilience into account.
Further, AgriFoSe2030 contributes to policy work and practical development activities that aim to increase participation and influence for women and youth within farming, agribusinesses and entrepreneurship along food value chains. Focus is on increased gender-equity with regard to land rights and access to production resources, as well as enhanced opportunities for youth within agriculture. AgriFoSe2030 targets those smallholders that are deemed to have potential for transformation from self-subsistence farming to producing a surplus of food for sale.
To stimulate food production and improving access to markets
In short, the programme contributes to stimulate an increase in food production and viability for these farmers by improving the access to markets; it also provides linkage to and development of value chains for their products. Promoting compliance with international standards and measures will enable possibilities for inclusive markets that can meet the increasing demand for food and potentially redress inequities in the access to such markets and thereby also increase access to food. The transformation of smallholder agriculture demands the active contribution of all sectors – government, private, non-governmental – including international development cooperation organisations. The actions taken to achieve this transformation must be science-based and resistant to ideological biases in order to be effective.
Translating state-of-the-art science to directly applicable information
The AgriFoSe2030 program translates state-of-the–art science for supporting better policies and improved practises within the agricultural sector. This translation is achieved through a set of activities, some of which aim to improve the capacity to synthesize and translate science into information that is directly applicable, and some are about performing this translation per se. Thus, the program systematically collect relevant research issues from researchers at universities and research institutes in low-income countries and universities in Sweden in an exchange activity.
The program trains participants in critical analysis and in the synthesis of scientific reports as well as in the translation of science to information that it is understandable to non-experts and in how to communicate this to relevant stakeholders. This chain of activities provides science-based information for better policies and improved practices for smallholders in the form of meetings, dialogues and publications.
AgriFoSe2030 draws on networks generated by previous and on-going Swedish support to the sector such as the bilateral university cooperation and the support to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The issues and challenges dealt within the program are generated and addressed within these networks.
The program is organised in cross-disciplinary themes that interact closely.
- Social and economic dimensions of smallholder agriculture
- Multifunctional landscapes in agriculture
- Increased productivity and diversity in smallholder cropping systems
- Livestock-keeping among smallholders for a nutritious diet and increased food security.
In addition there is an overarching and common coordination facility with a synthesising and communication function.