More than 60% of the world’s poor make a living from agriculture. Yet smallholder farmers are increasingly exposed to the risks of climate change, extreme weather and economic instability. Additionally, gender inequality presents a major barrier to advancing sustainable development in rural communities, with women particularly vulnerable to job insecurity, low wages and precarious livelihoods.
As part of our work to eradicate poverty and hunger, we want to empower smallholders to improve their livelihoods, ideally to achieve a living income, and access sufficient, nourishing food for their families. We prioritise initiatives to help people build resilience in the face of risk and the increasing impacts of climate change, and through all our efforts, we seek to promote gender equality and decent work while helping farmers to adopt sustainable practices.
Our challenge to companies
Oxfam asks companies to review how their decisions and purchasing practices affect smallholders’ ability to make a living income and transform the way they work in order to create positive impacts for smallholders and their communities.
We work with companies of all sizes, particularly in food value chains, to expand opportunities for women and men smallholder farmers, helping them to gain better access to markets, negotiate better contracts, increase production, and add value to their products. This work is fundamental in helping to secure their livelihoods in the face of climate change and resource scarcity.
Beyond this, we campaign for fair, sustainable markets. In particular, we engage with companies and governments to increase the participation of smallholders and farmer-owned enterprises in supply chains and markets in ways that benefit producers.