Strength in Numbers: Can Cooperatives Accelerate SDG Progress for Smallholder Farmers?

Previously Recorded | June 28, 2023

Heifer International hosts an expert roundtable for a discussion on how farmer-run cooperatives across the Global South can catalyze sustainable development, amplify women’s voices in agriculture and secure prosperous livelihoods for farming families.

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At the halfway point toward the 2030 achievement date, SDG progress is seriously lagging. Amid a confluence of climate impacts, conflict and post-pandemic repercussions, projections show approximately 670 million people will still be facing hunger in 2030 – about 8% of the world’s population, the same as in 2015.

Smallholder farmers, who constitute a global cohort of 600 million, are particularly vulnerable to higher instances of hunger, poverty and unstable work, despite growing food to sustain their local communities.

In this context, we consider what role farmer-run cooperatives play in building resilience and strengthening livelihoods for this population. Moderated by Devex senior reporter Teresa Welsh, this roundtable features experts from Malawi, Nepal and Mexico to discuss the role of farmer-run co-ops in building community resilience and bolstering women’s decision-making power in agricultural settings.

Speakers include:

• Neena Joshi, senior vice president of Asia programs, Heifer International

• Dr. Betty Chinyamunyamu, CEO of the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM)

• Isabel Camacho, manager of La cooperativa de pequeños productores de café Anepaan, Chiapas, Mexico