Family farming and smallholder farming are an important basis for sustainable food production throughout the world. While family farms tend to be highly efficient in terms of agricultural productivity per unit of land, those that produce on a small or medium scale have limited bargaining power and capacity to defend their interests in food markets.
More than 129 million child labourers in the world work in the agriculture sector, which includes fisheries, aquaculture, forestry and livestock. These girls and boys, between the ages of 5 and 17, are performing work that interferes with their education or damages their health or personal development.
Land-related investments in agriculture can greatly impact rural people’s lives. One of the main conclusions drawn from four FAO studies is that women’s livelihoods were improved when private investors took measures to increase women’s participation in agricultural land-related investments.
Securing water is critical to achieve food security and improve rural livelihoods, especially for the women and men living in arid and semi-arid areas. But accessing this scarce resource can be difficult for those engaged in rural agriculture, women in particular.
Compared to men, women are frequently disadvantaged in their access to and control over forest resources and in their ability to take advantage of economic opportunities, according to an FAO paper that calls for action on gender disparities in the forestry sector.