In 2014, the organisation GRAIN revealed that small farms produce most of the world’s food in its report Hungry for land: small farmers feed the world with less than a quarter of all farmland. The report Small-scale Farmers and Peasants Still Feed the World (ETC Group, 2022) confirmed this.
Small farmers produce up to 80% of the food in the non-industrialised countries. However, they are currently squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world’s farmland. The period 1974-2014 saw 140 million hectares – more than all the farmland in China – being taken over for soybean, oil palm, rapeseed and sugar cane plantations.
GRAIN noted that the concentration of fertile agricultural land in fewer and fewer hands is directly related to the increasing number of people going hungry every day. While industrial farms have enormous power, influence and resources, GRAIN’s data showed that small farms almost everywhere outperform big farms in terms of productivity.