Globally, farming is still essentially a family business with nine out of ten of the world’s farms producing 80% of the world’s food, owned and run by families. Small family farms are still the bedrock of world agriculture with only 6% of the world’s farms larger than five hectares. Family farms are not just dominant in continents such as Africa and Asia, but also in Europe and North America. More than 90% of the EU’s farms are run by family members, with all but 3% of US farms family owned.
Without family farms, the world would not be able to feed itself, so it is important those farms have access to technology and agricultural products that help them protect their crops, increase their yields and improve their incomes. For many families, the introduction of machinery, tools and the availability of safe and reliable crop protection products and fertilizer plus access to more education can transform the farm.
The development of family farms is essential if the world is to feed its growing population, but it is also very important for individual families. More than 100 million children still work on the world’s farms and 85% of Asian farms are run by women, even though they only take 20% of the income. Extra farm income allows those children to get a fuller education and gives women more freedom to fulfil their potential.
So, as the world celebrates the family, it is a good time to
recognise the vital role that grandfathers, grandmothers, mothers,
fathers, sisters and brothers play in providing our food every