As economic reforms in the 1990s shifted land ownership into the hands of private smallholders, family farmers became the predominant source of agricultural production in the region. To address the absence of well-developed institutional support, FAO is implementing a Regional Initiative on Empowering Smallholders and Family Farms for Improved Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction.
As countries seek to expand local trade, increase political and economic ties to the European Union or join the World Trade Organization, they must integrate their trade systems with new markets and comply with new standards. Regional and global integration is imperative as the region becomes an increasingly important supplier of agricultural goods to international markets. This initiative helps countries understand trade implications, implement trade policy and engage in trade agreements.
Stories from the field
When living conditions for households along the conflict line in Eastern Ukraine went from bad to worse, help came from the Government of Canada. The allocation of CDN 3 million will bolster and extend FAO’s emergency response and recovery work in the area.
This assistance from Canada, due to start in the coming weeks, will come in the form of farming necessities and technical guidance on marketing and cooperative action by farmers.
If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, productivity could increase by 20 to 30 percent, according to FAO data. Yet females – who make up 43 percent of the agricultural labour force globally – are often viewed as unpaid family labour. Their contribution goes unrecognized, and they lack access to the rural services enjoyed by their male counterparts.