As the single largest employer in the world, agriculture is linked closely to the economic welfare of the world’s poorest communities. As the 500 million smallholder farms worldwide supply 80% of the food consumed in a majority of the developing world, the biodiversity and reliability of this food source is fundamental to ensuring nutrition and food security for people in developing countries.
Despite being the lifeblood of the agricultural industry, smallholder farmers often receive the least support in the supply chain due to lack of access to market, lower produce prices due to flooded markets, and an inability to ensure consistently high quality and yield. These occur as a result of severe weather, and lack of access to farm management tools, agricultural expertise, and biodiverse seeds. The result compounds the issue and perpetuates the damaging cycle as poor cropping techniques strip the soil’s nutrients, which reduces environmental resistance.
The issues at the top of the supply chain flow on to impact those further along the supply chain as well. Businesses often have a high reliance on expensive imports, and exporters struggle to compete internationally. These problems are compounded by a lack of supply chain data transparency, deterring seed breeders from supplying quality seeds to developing markets as they are unable to protect their intellectual property.
Project Everest is currently assessing the problem space of nutrition and biodiversity conservation for Indigenous Australian traditional horticulture. Indigenous people have a symbiotic relationship with nature and an incredible knowledge of Australian biodiversity, and DArT believes that further enhancing traditional knowledge through technology is a valuable opportunity to make headway in conservation and ecological research for all.
Two thirds of extremely poor employed workers worldwide are agricultural workers, with most subsistence farmers earning less than US$5/day (UN, 2019).
500 million small farms worldwide, most still rain-fed, provide up to 80% of food consumed in most of the developing world (UN, 2019).
12.9% of the developing world’s population is undernourished, with poor nutrition causing 45% of deaths in children under five (UN, 2019).
Of 6,000 plant species that have been cultivated for food, just 9 plant species account for 66% of total crop production (FAO, 2019)
Watch It In Action
What it Addresses
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Goal 1: No Poverty
1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions
1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
Goal 2: Zero Hunger
2.1 By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.
2.3 By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment.
2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.
2.5 By 2020, maintain the genetic diversity of seeds, cultivated plants and farmed and domesticated animals and their related wild species, including through soundly managed and diversified seed and plant banks at the national, regional and international levels, and promote access to and fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge, as internationally agreed.
2.A Increase investment, including through enhanced international cooperation, in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity in developing countries, in particular least developed countries.
2.C Adopt measures to ensure the proper functioning of food commodity markets and their derivatives and facilitate timely access to market information, including on food reserves, in order to help limit extreme food price volatility.
Goal 15: Life on Land
15.6 Promote fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources and promote appropriate access to such resources, as internationally agreed
“From day one, I quickly grasped the need for a better, more efficient and sustainable agricultural industry.
One that acknowledges all aspects of the supply chain and treats every stakeholder with respect and dignity, without disregarding anyone for increased financial benefits. Being approached and speaking to local farmers and everyone else in the supply chain, I have had the most amazing opportunity to understand their problems and share their joys within their lives, but ultimately working to better the wellbeing of them and their communities.”
How to Get involved
Connecting young change-makers and technology partners you will be testing social enterprise solutions in real-world contexts at the very early stages. This is an opportunity to deeply understand our community members and work with them to develop a meaningful social impact.
Virtual Impact Program4 weeks
January 2021 | January 4 – 29, 2021
- February 2021 | February 1 – 26, 2021
- May 2021 | May 10 – June 4, 2021
- June 2021 | June 7 – July 2, 2021
- July 2021 | June 28 – July 23, 2021
Global Impact Program4 Weeks
- FIJI | TIMOR-LESTÉ | INDIA | MALAWI
- June 2021 | June 6 – 25 2021
- July 2021 | June 29 – July 24 2021
- December 2021 | November 28 – December 22 2021
- January 2022 | January 3 – 28 2022
- February 2022 | February 1 – 26 2022
Rural Impact Program2 Weeks
- December 2020 | December 7 – 18 2020
- January 2021 | January 4 – 15 2021 & January 18 – 29 2021
- February 2021 | February 1 – 12 2021