Article Summary: Family-owned farms comprise around one-fifth of the world’s available farmland. However, these farms also produce over 80% of the world’s food despite taking up a smaller space. And what’s even more surprising is that these family farmers, often working on smaller scales in developing countries, are at increased risk of hunger and poverty. Thankfully, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) have an action plan to support these farmers in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and beyond in using farming technology to help meet their needs in a rapidly changing world. We discuss how tech can help you fight poverty and how agtech can support the world’s efforts to fight hunger and food shortages.

Here are some stats for you.

Family-owned farms take up around one-fifth of the world’s available farmland. However, despite taking up a smaller space, these farms also produce over 80% of the world’s food. Amazing!

And what’s even more surprising is that these family farmers, often working on smaller scales in developing countries, are at increased risk of hunger and poverty.

Thankfully, in 2019, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) devised an action plan to support these farmers, including using farming technology to help meet their needs in a rapidly changing world.

Fast forward to 2023, and the UN continues to work with these farming communities to strengthen their food security by enhancing on-farm productivity and adopting eco-friendly farming solutions. This is also where younger farmers in rural communities are able to enter the sector as they are increasingly adept at handling technology.

So, how does technology truly help family farmers in lower socio-economic regions? And how can agtech be used to combat hunger and poverty? Let’s take a look.

How agricultural technology can help family farmers avoid hunger and poverty

According to the UNCTD, technology strengthens all four dimensions of food security: availability, access, utilisation, and stability:

  • Administered responsibly, genetic modification practices accelerate the development of new crop varieties with desired traits, increasing food supply.

  • Adopting smart agro-processing technologies can reduce post-harvest losses, improve processed products' quality, and make food more accessible.

  • Fortifying produce with nutrients, also known as biofortification, improves nutrition and helps reduce dietary deficiencies.

  • Using drones and satellites for territory surveillance, mapping, and crop health monitoring, also contributes to more stable agriculture production. 

Specific examples of where the UN is working in the field with family farms…

Precision agriculture in Kenya

Kenya is implementing a precision agriculture pilot project via satellite technology to analyse soil carbon and fertility. Smallholder farmers receive guidance on optimal planting times and fertiliser applications through mobile apps and text messages.

Fertigation technology in Seychelles

Farmers in Seychelles are being trained in using fertigation technology, which combines soluble fertilisers with micro-irrigation techniques. This approach improves crop quality while reducing energy consumption.

Value addition in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia supports farming families by providing modern machinery and establishing production centres. These centres enable farmers to add value to agricultural products like wool, fruits, and cosmetic oils by converting raw materials into other products.

Digital inclusion strategy in Uruguay

The Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries in Uruguay is developing a digital inclusion strategy targeting rural populations, focusing on women farmers. This strategy aims to bridge the digital divide and empower rural communities through increased access to technology and digital resources. 

Did you know is in use in Uruguay? We are excited to see the development of this farming nation through the adoption of precision farming tech, like our app!

How technology can help combat hunger and poverty on a global scale

As the world grapples with the challenges of poverty and famine, adopting agtech becomes increasingly crucial.  Finding smarter ways of diversifying crops, improving yields, using resources responsibly and gathering knowledge from the wider farming industry is key.

As a farmer, you can improve your productivity, profitability, and resilience by embracing tech innovations while contributing to global food security. It’s especially pertinent to small-scale family farmers and those in lower socio-economic regions. However, it’s up to all of us!

Agtech empowers small-scale farmers, fosters sustainable practices, enhances market access, and ultimately fights poverty and famine in the following ways:

Strengthening food security and combating famine

Enhancing Productivity: By implementing precision agriculture practices and utilising data-driven insights, farmers like you can grow more food on limited land.  

Pest and Disease Management: Remote sensing and AI can assist in the early detection and management of pests and diseases, minimising crop losses and protecting farm livelihoods, which is critical in combating famine.

Improving resilience and sustainable practices

Climate-Smart Agriculture: Remote sensing and weather forecasting technologies aid in monitoring weather patterns and making informed crop management and irrigation decisions.

Sustainable Resource Management: Agtech solutions assist in efficient water management, soil health monitoring, and pest control. By reducing reliance on chemical inputs and utilising resources, you can practice sustainable agriculture, safeguarding the environment and long-term productivity.

Access to markets and financial inclusion

Market Information at Your Fingertips: Agtech platforms provide real-time market information, helping you make informed decisions about crop selection, pricing, and market timing. This access to information empowers you and improves your bargaining power.

Financial Services and Digital Payments: Agtech solutions facilitate access to financial services, including loans, insurance, and mobile banking. By embracing digital payments, you can overcome barriers associated with cash transactions and benefit from increased financial inclusion.

Together, the farming community can share, learn, evolve and solve food issues

Integrating technology in family farming is ongoing, but it is proving to be a game changer, offering immense potential for productivity and sustainability gains. As highlighted by examples from various countries, such as Kenya, Seychelles, Saudi Arabia, and Uruguay, technology is transforming agriculture and empowering farmers in diverse ways.

By embracing technological advancements, you can enhance their productivity, increase market access, and contribute to global food security. However, it is crucial to prioritise investments in research and development, skills training, and adequate infrastructure to ensure that all farmers, particularly those in developing countries, can benefit from these innovations.

We watch this space keenly and hope to add more countries to our remit that want to adopt smart farming techniques for the good of our people and the planet.

Stay tuned and head to our blog for more global farming news!

Until we meet again, Happy Farming!

- The Dedicated Team of, 2023-07-11