Family farming: the beginning of a renaissance
More than 500 million family farms dominate agriculture around the world ensuring food security and providing employment to hundreds of millions of people. Family farms are also essential in safeguarding agro-biodiversity, and sustaining communities and cultures. However, family farming faces numerous challenges including insecure land rights, and limited access to inputs, improved seeds, modern farming techniques, training, extension services and markets. World attention has turned to agriculture after many years of neglect as a result of the food price spikes of 2007- 2008. This is opening an unprecedented opportunity for family farms to transform into viable businesses. Growing demand from booming cities in Africa and elsewhere is helping to make agriculture a profitable enterprise. By increasing their productivity and competitiveness, family farms can contribute greatly not only to addressing food and nutrition security challenges in developing countries but also to sustainable economic growth.