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Smallholder Farmers: The Hope For Ending Hunger

Almost 800 million people suffer from hunger and malnourishment. Development cooperation is one of the ways to solve this problem, and global education aims to raise social awareness in the field of global problems, possible solutions, and mutual interdependence between highly industrialised countries (such as Poland) and developing ones.

A large part of starving people in the world are small farmers who struggle with a number of difficulties in securing nourishment for their families and neighbours. Both effective development aid and full implementation of the EU’s principles of policy coherence for development can help solving this problem. To make it possible, it is necessary to increase social awareness as to the role of small farmers in fighting world hunger. The project was devoted to achieving this objective.

Target groups of this nationwide project were journalists, students, the youth, workers and volunteers of social organisations, and university lecturers.

Smallholder Farmers: The Hope For Ending Hunger

From February till the end of December 2015, the Institute of Global Responsibility (IGO) carried out a project in the field of global education aimed at ending world hunger, especially among small farmers in the countries of the Global South (developing countries). The project consisted in conducting nationwide workshops for journalists, students, activists, and multipliers; organising lectures and public debates (in Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Lodz); preparing multimedia materials (films, infographics, presentations), articles, electronic and paper publications (elaboration concerning world hunger).

The project, financed under the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ funds, was an element of a wider, three years long operation financed by the European Union and implemented by the Institute of Global Responsibility in cooperation with European organisations involved in activities aimed at achieving nutritional security and nutritional sovereignty.

The general aim of the project was to contribute to ending world hunger by raising Poles’ awareness about sustainable management of global resources and implementation of human rights’ perspective in development cooperation. This objective is based on the fact that world hunger problem cannot be solved without supporting traditional agriculture, meaning family and sustainable farming, which is the source of food for a great portion of the population, including most people suffering from hunger.

The project was oriented at implementing agriculture and development of rural areas priority; it also contributed to achieving a Millennium Development Goal: eliminating extreme poverty and hunger.

Smallholder Farmers: The Hope For Ending Hunger

The project increased the target groups’ awareness of the positive role that supporting small farmers running traditional, sustainable homesteads has on ending world hunger. 27 journalists and journalism students were trained in this field. The training and cooperation with authors resulted in creating 10 press releases and radio broadcasts. Workshops for 23 activists were carried out, who afterwards promoted topic of world hunger. There was also training for 28 multiplicators, thanks to which they gained knowledge about global challenges and learned to spread it in their own environments. A total of 66 students, academic lecturers, and social activists attended two lectures given at Warsaw’s and Wroclaw’s universities. 120 people participated in two public debates conducted in Warsaw and Lodz.

Another result of the project was creation of multimedia materials. Three infographics bring closer problems, solutions, and dilemmas related to supporting small farmers – both in developing countries and in Poland. Three films concerning world hunger and conditions necessary for sustainable agriculture development were created. Knowledge in the subject was also spread via three electronic presentations. In addition, materials and proposals for position papers were prepared for NGOs and academic lecturers.

Publication of world hunger-related news in traditional and social media, as well as popularisation of multimedia materials made it possible to arouse a wider audience’s interest in this challenge of international society. Thanks to the training, multiplicators, journalists, and activists will spread the gained knowledge in their circles also after the termination of the project.