Small-scale farming is a surprisingly complex enterprise with multiple areas of risk that also present opportunities for impact.

--  David Erickson, CEO, ECHO

"Small farmers produce much of the developing world's food. Yet they are generally much poorer than the rest of the population in these countries, and are less food secure than even the urban poor. Furthermore, although rapid urbanisation is taking place in many developing countries, farming populations in 2030 will not be much smaller than they are today. For the foreseeable future, therefore, dealing with poverty and hunger in much of the world means confronting the problems that small farmers and their families face in their daily struggle for survival.

Investment priorities and policies must take into account the immense diversity of opportunities and problems facing small farmers. The resources on which they draw, their choice of activities, indeed the entire structure of their lives, are linked inseparably to the biological, physical, economic and cultural environment in which they find themselves and over which they only have limited control. While every farmer is unique, those who share similar conditions also often share common problems and priorities that transcend administrative or political borders."  -- FAO

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Please note that the links listed below may lead to additional resources which have not yet been added to this collection.


  1. 1996-12-28 Based on the author's widely used earlier text African Farm Management, this account updates the economic analysis of tropical agriculture and broadens its perspective to include examples from all parts of the developing world. Writing in a clear, concise style, Professor Upton explains the...
  2. 2012-12-20 Small-scale farming is a surprisingly complex enterprise with multiple areas of risk that also present opportunities for impact. This session aims to introduce some "systems thinking", a couple of simple tools and a measure of humility to our development efforts. Presenter :David Erickson serves...
  3. Key Resource 1985-01-01 Amazon.com Description Not too long ago, only poets and dreamers imagined a world without hunger and starvation. Today, the worlds expert community--scientists, agricultural specialists, development professionals, working with governments, the UN and private voluntary organizations--is united in...
  4. Key Resource 2005-12-30 A respected international economic advisor and the director of The Earth Institute shares a wide-spectrum theory about how to enable economic success throughout the world, identifying the different categories into which various nations fall in today's economy while posing solutions to top...
  5. The Tropical Agriculture Association (TAA) is a professional association of individuals and corporate bodies concerned with the role of agriculture for development throughout the world. TAA brings together individuals and organisations from both developed and less developed countries to enable...
  6. 2009-04-01 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #1 What is the outlook for world food prices? In the immediate future (the next few months), some moderation in global food prices seems likely in response to very recent (since mid-2008) declines in world grain and energy prices. In the short-term (next 2 to 3...
  7. 2015-03-26 Farm animals such as large and small ruminants, monogastric and non-conventional animals provide economic stream of family income as well as livelihoods in the social and cultural domain to majority of farmers in the country. Small scale farmers form about 80% of producers of livestock and...
  8. Key Resource 1987-11-01 This 505 page book is an exceptionally exhaustive source of information on tropical and subtropical fruits. It is a well-illustrated and very readable, practical guide for those interested in growing tropical and subtropical fruits either for the home garden or commercially. The fruits are...
  9. The circular economy offers an unparalleled opportunity. It’s good for the economy, good for society and good for the planet. Supporting the transition would save lives and create employment, accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and reducing the tension between lifting...
  10. Key Resource 2011-01-20 Tropical and subtropical fruits are popular products, but are often highly perishable and need to be transported long distances for sale. The four volumes of Postharvest biology and technology of tropical fruits review essential aspects of postharvest biology, postharvest technologies, handling...
  11. Key Resource 2007-12-10 It has been recognized that an important factor in improving the viability of rural livelihoods in developing countries is the promotion of sustainable agriculture. As opposed to relying solely on cash crops, this can be more easily achieved through the domestication of various indigenous fruit...
  12. Our work on sustainable agriculture provides analysis and policy insights on how natural resource management can result in enhanced food security, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development. Research and field work seek to improve knowledge and understanding of how best to integrate...
  13. Abstract,International Food Policy Research Institute, 2006 Modern crop production is based on only a few plant species. Particularly in marginal environments of developing agricultural economies, many less well-known agricultural or nontimber forest species, continue to be grown, managed or...
  14. Key Resource 2006-11-01 Turn your Florida yard into a beautiful cornucopia of delicious fruit. You can grow many of the world's best-tasting fruits in Florida's subtropical environment. Complete profiles of 80 native and non-native fruiting plants, ranging from the familiar, such as the strawberry and orange, to the...
  15. Key Resource 1992-01-19 This is the 2nd volume of the multivolume Prosea (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Handbook which aims to summarize knowledge about useful plants for workers in education, research, extension and industry. Perennial species grown primarily for their ediblefruits(fleshy or dry) which are...
  16. The potential of so-called underutilised crops for human nutrition and as a source of income for poor farmers in the Global South was discussed at the Elsevier International Conference on Global Food Security in Cape Town, South Africa. Researchers from Kenya, Germany and the USA presented their...
  17. Key Resource 2011-01-20 While products such as bananas, pineapples, kiwifruit and citrus have long been available to consumers in temperate zones, new fruits such as lychee, longan, carambola, and mangosteen are now also entering the market. Confirmation of the health benefits of tropical and subtropical fruit may also...
  18. Key Resource 2011-01-20 While products such as bananas, pineapples, kiwifruit and citrus have long been available to consumers in temperate zones, new fruits such as lychee, longan, carambola, and mangosteen are now also entering the market. Confirmation of the health benefits of tropical and subtropical fruit may also...
  19. Key Resource 1998-05-01 Amazon.com Description A wide variety of fruits is grown in the tropics, under a range of climatic conditions and soil types. Some have been widely used both within the tropics and also exported to temperate countries for many years, whereas others are currently grown almost exclusively for local...
  20. Abstract,World Development, 2017 Until recently there was lacking a common food security measure and the necessary data to study the individual-level determinants of food insecurity around the world. In 2014, the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Voices of the Hungry project developed an...
  21. Key Resource 1981-01-19 Many new pasture plants have entered farming practice in the tropics and sub—tropics in the past two decades. This book attempts to define the principles of plant behavior which decide the ecological success or failure of these plants in the diverse environmental conditions of the tropical world....
  22. Key Resource 1987-01-19 Tropical Pastures and Fodder Crops outlines a philosophy for pasture improvement and examines various improved grass and legume species. It describes the establishment and continued management of pastures and provides information about the animals which graze them. This Second Edition contains...
  23. Key Resource 2007-01-20 Let’s Restore Our Land describes how church and community leaders came to realize that the soil that produces our food is becoming weak, and the forests that provide us with many resources are disappearing. They recognized that God has given us the responsibility to care for and protect these...
  24. 2017-02-20 Stylized facts drive research agendas and policy debates. Yet robust stylized facts are hard to come by, and when available, often outdated. The 12 papers in this Special Issue revisit conventional wisdom on African agriculture and its farmers’ livelihoods using nationally representative surveys...
  25. The Living Standards Measurement Study - Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) is a household survey project established with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by the LSMS team. Recognizing that existing agricultural data in the region suffers from...
  26. HARVEST - Holistic Access to Research on Vegetables, Economies, Societies, and Technology Searching over 50,000 records in the World Vegetable Center archives.
  27. 1920-01-19 The reason for scarcity of fruits in regions where, by climatic indications, one would expect them to be most abundant, is not to be found in any single fact, but is, perhaps, largely the result of three causes: first, the enervating effect of heat, which discourages man from undertaking work...
  28. 2017-01-20 Small-scale agriculture is the main livelihood of the majority of the world’s rural poor. Smallholder farmers in the global South play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity, as well as contributing to food security in their countries. However, they need to be connected to markets to see...
  29. 2019-06-04 Small-scale farming is a surprisingly complex enterprise with multiple areas of risk that also present opportunities for impact. This session aims to introduce some "systems thinking", a couple of simple tools and a measure of humility to our development efforts. Presenter :David Erickson serves...
  30. The Horticulture Innovation Lab's global research network advances fruit and vegetable innovations, empowering smallholder farmers to earn more income while better nourishing their communities. The program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and led by ateam at the...
  31. 2015-06-15 For the first time in generations, Africa is spoken of these days with enthusiastic hope: no longer seen as a hopeless morass of poverty, the continent instead is described as “Africa Rising,” a land of enormous economic potential that is just beginning to be tapped. WithAfrica: Why Economists...
  32. The view that a productive agriculture is critical for employment creation and poverty reduction is now widely shared within the development community. Yet, this has not always been the case. In the run up to the 2008 world food price crisis, many development practitioners, government officials...
  33. Transforming Africa’s economic development requires a shift away from its characteristic dependence on commodities and limited domestic production. Broader participation in economic growth is needed to stem rural flight and promote inclusive job creation among youth and women. Agriculture is a...
  34. Abstract, Ecology and Society, 2018 Telecoupling refers to socioeconomic and environmental interactions between distant coupled human and natural systems, and has become more extensive and intensive in the globalized era. The integrated framework of telecoupling examines flows of information,...
  35. Key Resource 2011-01-20 While products such as bananas, pineapples, kiwifruit and citrus have long been available to consumers in temperate zones, new fruits such as lychee, longan, carambola, and mangosteen are now also entering the market. Confirmation of the health benefits of tropical and subtropical fruit may also...
  36. Key Resource 1987-01-19 [Reference Book] Available full-text in USDA's national Agricultural Library http://naldr.nal.usda.gov (search Martin, Agriculture Hanbook 1987) The edible fruits of the Tropics are many in number, varied in form, and irregular in distribution. They can be categorized as major or minor. Only...
  37. Key Resource 2008-01-25 This book is the third in a series evaluating underexploited African plant resources that could help broaden and secure Africa's food supply. The volume describes 24 little-known indigenous African cultivated and wild fruits that have potential as food- and cash-crops but are typically overlooked...