Model and activist Sabrina Dhowre Elba called on world leaders to invest in smallholder farmers as a way to stop rising hunger rates around the world on Wednesday, in a video address as part of Global Citizen’s Recovery Plan for the World campaign. 

The Global Citizen Advocate was joined by a group of Global Citizens who shared facts about the global hunger crisis from their homes. For example, “1 in 3 people did not have access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food in 2020,” they said, along with the fact that the world is not on track to end hunger by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic caused hunger levels to surge as food systems faltered and economies declined. 

The video draws attention to the ability of smallholder farmers to combat hunger. 

“Farmers are on the front lines of our food systems, but need urgent support,” Elba said. “Will you step up to fight rising hunger?”

Globally, there are more than 500 million smallholder farms that collectively produce around half of the world’s calories. Due to a chronic lack of investment and financial support, these farmers are often unable to go beyond subsistence agriculture. By sending money and resources to farmers through organizations like the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), countries have an opportunity to increase the yields and income levels of farmers, addressing hunger and poverty at the same time. 

Investing in smallholder farmers is also a way to combat climate change. Unlike the hazardous practices of industrial agriculture, smallholder farmers tend to cultivate the health of the soil. When healthy, soil can draw down carbon emissions from the atmosphere, while also supporting broader ecosystems. 

Elba has highlighted smallholder farmers many times in her role as an IFAD Goodwill Ambassador along with her husband, Idris Elba. IFAD is currently raising funds for its next slate of programs to run between 2022 and 2024 and G20 countries in particular have an opportunity to show their support for ending hunger and poverty by increasing their investments in the organization. 

Disclosure: The International Fund for Agricultural Development is a funding partner of Global Citizen.

You can join the Global Citizen Live campaign to defeat poverty and defend the planet by taking action here, and become part of a movement powered by citizens around the world who are taking action together with governments, corporations, and philanthropists to make change.


Defeat Poverty

Sabrina Elba Calls on World Leaders to End Rising Hunger

By Joe McCarthy