In Burundi, 90 percent of citizens make their living from agriculture. On average, each family farm has just one acre of land, often not enough to feed a family. There is rarely a surplus to sell at market. Burundi’s farmers deal not only with the usual uncertainty caused by pests, fluctuating prices and poor weather, but they are still recovering from a civil war that ravaged the country between 1993 and 2005. Farmland, livestock and farming knowledge were lost. Forests were cut down for charcoal and to build new shelters. This, in turn, caused erosion on Burundi’s beautiful hills.
Women farmers face even greater challenges. In Burundi, they are unable to inherit land, so women farmers must often rent land and take on debt to grow food.
All over the world, family farmers achieve remarkably high levels of production despite their daily challenges, which now include the often dramatic effects of climate change and decreasing access to land, water and seeds. Development and Peace partners help small family farmers improve their agricultural practices and work together to challenge policies that make small family farming even more difficult.
Thanks to your Share Lent donation, farming families in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East have access to agricultural training and innovations that will ensure bountiful harvests. These farming families create communities that allow them to share resources, develop cooperatives, access markets, and advocate for their rights.
Their courage, hard work and commitment inspire us to travel this journey with them.
When families have enough to eat, they can build solid roofs over their heads, their children can go to school, they can receive medical care when they are sick, their elders are cared for and the whole family can live in dignity.
As stewards of Creation, small family farmers safeguard the Earth, while contributing to the struggle against world hunger.