Globally, 795 million people are undernourished, and this number is expected to rise by an additional 2 billion people by 2050. Smallholder farmers are crucial stakeholders in eradicating global hunger and diversifying the food system, although they struggle to capitalize on resources, both educational and financial, to utilize efficient agricultural practices and realize a sustainable future. FoodFrame will leverage the global community of partners and experts, and connect them in real-time and one-on-one with farmers in need through the latest mobile technology.
How do you connect a global network of resources, both educational and financial, to a vast amount of smallholder farmers in low-income countries that have limited accessibility?
In developed countries, smallholder farmers are utilizing new technologies and applications to further efficient, productive and sustainable agricultural practices. With lagging technology adoption and risk aversion in underdeveloped and developing countries, agricultural best practices and microfinancing opportunities are limited.
Smallholder farmers are a critical piece to meeting the demands of the world’s growing population and achieving UN Sustainable Development Global Goal 2: Zero Hunger.
According to the World Bank, over 80 percent of the rural poor depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods.
Smallholder farmers need the education, funding and technology to increase their yields and secure a more sustainable future – for increased production and income, nutrition and environmentally efficient practices.
FoodFrame is a global initiative that brings together partners and experts with smallholder farmers, with the focus on improving the efficiency and sustainability of the livelihoods of farmers and their communities.
FoodFrame’s mobile technology allows for the collaboration between the three parties to leverage and expand small farm production and increase efficiency. By leveraging the “FoodFrame” application, farmers initially share key challenges about their farm, thereby opening the door to “expert partners” who not only provide education on better production tailored to them but opportunities such as identifying other crops that could do well in their region. Then, a partner provides microfinancing routed through FoodFrame’s financial partner.
Too often, a farmer relies heavily on limited crops and denies their family or community the opportunity for a varied diet and proper nutrition, or even enough food.
There are always strong social and political factors involved; therefore, education is a critical factor for sustainability, and technology has to incorporate this piece for lasting innovative change.
Individuals with domain expertise and the capacity to give often do not have an intimate way to connect with global challenges. That’s where FoodFrame solves a very complex problem by allowing for direct one-to-one interaction. It also creates active partners, while many organizations utilize passive partners.
More often, individuals want to see the impact of their contribution, whether financial or expertise. Through technology and social media, FoodFrame provides this transparency and one-to-one interface.
Usually, there are so many intermediaries between people that want to help and people who need the help. FoodFrame cuts down on all the intermediaries, as each one increases your chances of ineffectiveness, corruption, dissolution and lack of impact. In these cases, there is little to any impact on the real problem, the real challenge, and the individuals that are truly struggling.
Challenges for FoodFrame will be creating a large social network – the organization will only be effective with a high number of experts. Another challenge may be managing the financing to individuals without access to technology.
FoodFrame relates to SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
The fate of smallholder farmers will largely determine whether or not the world succeeds in reducing poverty and hunger worldwide. The world needs to produce at least 50% more food by 2050 to feed a projected 9 billion people, and smallholder farmers are crucial stakeholders in achieving this and diversifying the food system. Almost every country in the world is battling with some form of malnutrition – undernourishment and an increasing rate of obesity – which creates an unforeseen “double burden” of malnutrition, and a dramatic rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) Combined with the fact that food production is the single most important driver of climate change and environmental damage, the world needs to capitalize on the resources FoodFrame brings together for positive change on the sustainability of agriculture, improved nutrition and eradication of hunger worldwide.
Many challenges that smallholder farmers are faced with are challenges that can be solved with the right people and small financing. Even a small impact, such as a 10% increase in efficiency provides critically more food and a much smaller environmental footprint. Imagine a global network that offers solutions in minutes – not months, days or years. That is FoodFrame – the full force of the globe with minimal overhead.