Fighting Poverty on the Farm
One of the keys to a family escaping poverty is education for their children. For many of the people Catholic Relief Services supports, the road to education begins on a farm.
About 800 million people around the world are chronically hungry. Most of them live in rural settings. Land may be their only asset. Agriculture is their surest first step to overcoming poverty.
When farm families can grow more food, improve their nutrition and sell surplus produce, their incomes stabilize and they can begin to realistically plan for their future.
Agriculture investment shows excellent returns—more than any other sector. So CRS places special emphasis on expert service to poor farm families.
The CRS Pathway to Prosperity meets families where they are along a spectrum of need.
We meet them when they’re recovering from disaster, helping them grow the best possible produce and stabilize their incomes.
We serve them when they’re ready to increase their productivity to improve family nutrition and generate surplus produce for sale. When it’s time to grow their farm business, we connect them to other producers. Organized farmer groups strengthen their voice in the market.
We also serve farmer groups by connecting them to lucrative markets that pay a premium for high quality produce.
In each stage, many factors come into play. In developing countries, farmers often face depleted soil and insufficient water sources. They often lack access to financial institutions and contemporary business support, such as marketing assistance. They need to learn to organize and innovate to stay current in a global market.
To better meet farm families at their level of need, we’ve identified SMART Skills—five key skills all small-scale farm families want and need to prosper in contemporary agri-markets. The five skills are: group organization, finance, marketing, natural resource management and innovation.
CRS works with family farmers all over the world so they get the training they need to go from subsistence farming to growing an agribusiness.
When family farms thrive, health improves and communities become more resilient and independent. And instead of putting their children to work in the fields, parents can send girls and boys to school. This is how many families will escape poverty.
Your support makes all this happen.