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Smallholder Farmers Hold Key To Sustainable Agriculture, Report Says

“Given the right conditions and targeted support, small farmers can unleash a new and sustainable agricultural revolution, the United Nations environment agency and a partner agricultural development organization reported [on Tuesday] on the eve of World Environment Day,” the U.N. News Centre reports. The report (.pdf), titled “Smallholders, Food Security and the Environment,” was commissioned by the U.N. Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the news service notes. “The report makes it clear that investing in the agricultural sector offers the highest rate of return for those interested in overcoming poverty, [U.N. Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner] said, and speeds progress towards reaching the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and building a post-2015 sustainable agenda,” the news service continues (6/4). In an interview with Devex, Elwyn Grainger-Jones, climate and environment head of IFAD, “makes a case for the farmers and asks the international community to not ignore them in the discussions on climate change” (Morales, 6/4).