The vast majority of our farmer network are smallholders, with land of just one or two hectares. Combined with the vagaries of weather, infrastructure and global market pricing, many of them operate on a fine line between success and failure, with little capacity to adapt, let alone grow.
Large-scale farmers, such as those from whom we source onions and garlic in the USA, or cotton in Australia also face challenges regarding climate change, water security and cost of production.
Reducing living income gaps of farmer households is critical to farmer livelihoods and to supply-chain sustainability. Creating economic opportunity for farming communities has many interdependencies and benefits. Read about some of our activities over the last year, and our performance against the goals we have set our business in our most recent annual report.
In Côte d’Ivoire, we are providing maize seeds and inputs to cotton farmers. In the 20/21 season increased their yields by up to 200%, which in turn improved their income.
Seed drilling machines provided to rice farmers in Thailand have reduced the volume of seed needed by 80% and increased farmers’ incomes by 10%.
A programme to train 1,500 sesame farmers in Nigeria on efficient application of inputs has led to increases of up to 35% in yield, and reduced production costs by as much as 11%, generating between US$100-200 extra revenue per hectare.
We continue to review our own operations and supply chain, to make positive changes. However, we cannot make the level of change required alone. We are active in a number of sector-wide initiatives and are collaborating with customers to help them mitigate their environmental impacts.
We acknowledge that alone we can’t make the scale of change at the speed we would like. Here are some examples of organisation we partner with to achieve greater impact in this area.