Food production in the developing world must more than double over the next twenty years to keep up with the needs of our growing population. – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
A key support that SHARE provides is funding agriculture training and education. Agriculture technicians who have expertise in local ecological agriculture techniques and farming conditions provide an agriculture extension role badly needed in remote under-serviced rural areas. Small scale farmers receive assistance with the nutrition and health problems of livestock, cropping, storage and marketing advice. The agriculture technicians also organize workshops, work with other community resource people to identify needs and help small scale farmers organize themselves. Because many small scale farmers are illiterate, these agriculture technicians also assist in completing government paperwork for grants and other programs. Some of the agriculture technicians are themselves farmers who will train families in their own communities to diversify to improve family nutrition and access local markets.
The SHARE agriculture technicians provide leadership and link the small rural farmer to self-sufficiency.
Northeast Brazil is the poorest area of Brazil and drought prone. SHARE has supported many small farmers there to diversify production and spread their risk. These small scale farmers cannot afford chemical fertilizers and pesticides so they rely on organic and ecological techniques.
For several years SHARE has funded a very successful Organic Growers’ Conference. Over 140 participants now attend this conference that rotates between the 4 poorest states in the northeast of Brazil. Participants discuss their challenges, share new strains of seeds, share knowledge and experiences and tour local farms. Many discussions focus on how to effectively market organic produce. Participants in the SHARE organic growers’ conference are leaders in their communities and are dedicated to teaching their new skills and knowledge.
The smallholder farmer is at the centre of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger; priority must be given to rural areas and to agriculture as the mainstay of rural livelihoods. United Nations Millennium Project & FAO – The Economics of Hunger in Latin American and the Caribbean