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Sowing for a sustainable future

13 February 2014

All eyes are on family and smallholder farming in 2014, including Pick n Pay's. Find out how supporting these industries can end hunger and poverty.

Food and economic security – these are some of the world’s most pressing issues needing to be addressed. With the causes of poverty being lack of resources and an extremely unequal income distribution in the world, one way to resolve the problem is through empowerment. 

This can be achieved through the 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), which aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming with a focus on food security, the management of natural resources, and the achievement of sustainability.

International Year of Family Farming

Through broad discussion and cooperation on a national, regional and global level, the 2014 IYFF will encourage countries to reposition family farming, placing it at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies.  This will increase awareness and understanding of the challenges facing family farming and smallholders. It will also help identify efficient ways to support them and promote a shift towards more equal and balanced development.

What is family farming?

Family farming includes all agricultural activities that are managed and operated by a family and predominantly reliant on family labour, including both women and men. It may also encompass forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production. In both developing and developed countries, family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the food production sector.

At national level, there are a number of factors that are key for a successful development of family farming. These include, but are not limited to, agro-ecological conditions; access to markets; access to land and natural resources; access to technology and finance; demographic, economic and socio-cultural conditions; and availability of specialised education.

What Pick n Pay is doing 

Pick n Pay has endeavoured to stock products that are Fairtrade – the leading international certification system for sustainable production and poverty reduction in the agricultural sector. Fairtrade empowers smallholder farmers by helping to regulate sustainable and environmentally sound food production. They also ensure that a percentage of the profit for every product sold goes back to farming communities.

International Year of Family Farming

The Pick n Pay Foundation aims to make a measurable contribution to sustainable development through the enhancement and development of skills by supporting projects that encourage entrepreneurship and provide employment opportunities.

One instance in which this has been achieved is through Pick n Pay’s linking emerging farmers to stores nationwide, giving them market access. Pick n Pay also encourages communities to run their enterprises according to sound business principles, and to identify growth opportunities through on-going mentorship.

Pick n Pay will be facilitating the 2014 IYFF through…

  • Sustained capacity building for small-scale farmers and other entrepreneurs in order to improve their competitiveness.
  • Smallholder and family farmers taking advantage of collective action, either as co-operatives, producer organisations or other forms of association.
  • Collaboration between the public and the private sectors in terms of linking smallholder farmers to formal markets.
  • Providing technical assistance and financing emerging farmers.
  • Helping to build networks and markets for smallholder and family farmers in distressed communities.
  • Providing access to markets by purchasing the produce from the farmers for sale in Pick n Pay Stores.

Pick n Pay continually tracks the progress of the smallholder and family farms we support. The aim is to determine whether our social empowerment initiatives are having a lasting impact on the reduction of poverty in an empowering way. 

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