Committee on World Food Security

Making a difference in food security and nutrition

Connecting Smallholders to Markets

The majority of the 600 million farms in the world are small. Farms of less than 1 hectare account for 70% of all farms but operate only 7 percent of all agricultural land. Smallholders play an essential role in ensuring food security and nutrition. Smallholders can also contribute to a vast range of different benefits such as creating employment in rural areas, reducing poverty and enhancing the sustainable management of natural resources. They are themselves often affected by food insecurity and malnutrition as around 80% of the world’s poor and food insecure live in rural areas and most of the rural poor are small-scale family food producers.

In June 2015, a High-Level Forum on Connecting Smallholders to Markets was held which took a look at the policy implications, challenges and lessons learned from concrete examples of how smallholders have found opportunities build sustainable linkages to markets.

At CFS 43 in 2016 CFS endorsed a set of recommendations on Connecting Smallholders to Markets which ensure smallholders can continue to contribute to global food production as well as their own food security and nutrition. These recommendations are intended to support governments’ efforts to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with particular attention to food security and nutrition and the promotion of sustainable agriculture. They also focus on the reduction of inequalities by addressing the challenges behind unequal access to markets, land and other natural resources.

At CFS 46 in October 2019, CFS will hold an event for monitoring the use and application of these policy recommendations , together with two other sets of interconnected CFS policy recommendations 

The event will also look into the potential application of CFS policy outcomes, especially for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in the context of the UN Decade on Family Farming and the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition.

Connecting Smallholders To Markets

Policy Recommendations