In India, as with the rest of the world, 2020 was a year of struggle and resilience. My country was under a government mandated lockdown for almost three months which negatively affected many industries, with the service and industrial sectors coming to an almost complete halt. However, the agriculture sector was the least affected by the pandemic, as the government deemed many farming activities to be vital. Now, post lockdown, while various industries are gradually opening but continue to struggle, agriculture is an economic bright spot and has experienced a growth rate of 3.4% during Q1 of 2021. Despite several hindrances like produce dumped for lack of buyers or crashing prices, farmers kept the process running and all major cities across the country continued to receive supplies of fresh vegetables, fruits, and milk throughout the lockdown.
For at least the last 15 years, the international development community has increasingly prioritized improving social and economic outcomes for women. As Tanager’s team prepares to participate in AGRF 2020 – “the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward”, I am especially interested in how the international community can leverage this increased focus to improve women’s access to finance.
As an agriculture and food security career professional, and as a board member of ACDI/VOCA, Tanager, and AV Ventures, I am especially concerned about COVID-19’s effects on smallholder farmers in developing countries. We cannot allow this crisis to erase the progress of the last 20 years towards alleviating hunger and poverty in the developing world.
Today is National Farmers Day in India, an important time to reflect on the plight of the rural farmer and examine how Tanager is working to improve social and economic conditions in rural communities. In the Indian economy agricultural accounts for 18% of the country’s GDP, employing roughly 50% of the country’s workforce. In most of the cases farmers in India work less than an acre of land and rarely own more than 2 acres. These smallholder farmers face a unique set of challenges that Tanager works to address through our co-created projects in India. To understand how Tanager co-creates projects help to improve economic and social outcomes for these farmers, we must first understand the challenges of smallholder farming in India.
For much of the world, the real face of poverty is a smallholder farmer. According to the FAO, of the 2.5 billion people living directly from food or agriculture sectors in poor countries, 1.5 billion of them are smallholder farmers, with about 65% of those living in extreme poverty and over 50% being classified as moderate poor (1). Recent SDG 1 projections indicate that 6% of the world’s population will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030 if current trends continue.
How do we bridge the gap towards achieving an end to poverty?
Tanager examines how “Our projects are constantly adapted to incorporate economic, social, and environmental sustainability to ultimately benefit the communities we work in.”
To honor International Youth Day, Tanager experts William Godfrey and Giovanni Cuero examine the project’s approach in Colombia to help deserving students succeed.
As a mother raising a teenage son, I think about the world that he is growing up into, that he will ultimately inherit from us. My son thinks about this too, and he often challenges me and opens my mind to think about things in different ways. This weekend, with the opening of Marvel’s most recent installment of the Avengers franchise, we had a lively discussion about whether or not supervillain Thanos snapping away half the living things in the universe would be the best way to feed the galactic populations.
Tanager experts Hannah Guedenet and Andrew Gathecha examine the factors that determined the success of two AgResults pilot programs.
Tanager experts Garima Joshi and Joseph Boulier examine the challenges faced by women farmers in India and explain how Tanager’s co-created projects work to address these challenges.