In the past couple of decades, the world has seen economic growth that yielded spectacular results. Developing countries enjoyed a 6% annual growth rate between 2000 and 2010, with Asia growing at 8%, Africa at 5% and Latin America at a similar rate. As a result, some one billion people have escaped extreme poverty (an income of less than US$1.25 per day), and there has been a slight bridging of the economic inequality gap between countries.
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Although he is over 80, Godfrey Boma still has a large family to feed, with six grandchildren and two nephews who are dependent on him. Before he joined the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC), the elderly Zambian farmer’s fields were exhausted and unable to produce.
Nowadays, Godfrey grows no less than 23 kinds of crops on his land, among them maize, groundnuts, cotton, pigeon peas, velvet beans, red and black sunhemp, pumpkin, Mexican apples and lemons.
Most farmers in the world own less than five hectares of land. Known as small-scale farmers, they feed one third of the global population, providing up to 80% of food consumed in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Yet small-scale farmers, many of who are women, face heavy challenges to survive from day to day, among them land tenure problems, rising food prices, export-led agriculture, and the use of land to grow internationally desired commodities rather than food.