How can we create food security and ensure strong farmer livelihoods?

This live written discussion took place with a panel of experts to explore how can we create food security and ensure strong farmer livelihoods.


LIVE Panel

Wednesday 25th October, 10am to 11am EST / 3pm to 4 pm GMT


The climate crisis is having severe consequences for the production of food crops, threatening both global food security and individual farmers’ livelihoods. More than ever, putting farmers at the centre of food security is imperative for both humanitarian and economic reasons. Despite producing enough food to feed 1.5 times the current global population, a staggering 800 million people go hungry, with women constituting 60% of this demographic. Moreover, one-third of the global population suffers from nutrient deficiencies, indicating that quantity does not necessarily translate to quality in food distribution.

The majority of our food production comes from smallholdings, with 84% of farms falling into this category. Farmers are custodians of much of our land and have generational knowledge of what works. And yet the average income per day of a smallholder farmer is just £1.50. This stark reality underscores the need for a farmer-centric approach.

This online written discussion explores how we can solve for both food security and ensure quality farmer livelihoods simultaneously. The discussion remains open - you can still add your insights of what has and hasn’t worked in other spheres that could assist progress here.


  • Felix Atamba, Founder/Youth Project Lead, YAHI (Youth Against Hunger Initiative)
  • Monique Atouguia, Nature Market Project Manager, Taskforce on Nature Markets
  • Megan Baumann, Global Qualitative Research Lead, Women’s World Banking
  • Dale Buscher, Senior Director for Programs, Women’s Refugee Commission
  • Oliver Camp, Senior Associate, Nature Positive Actions for Healthy Diets, GAIN
  • Abir Chowdhury Sr. Manager - Development & Fundraising, Ashoka University
  • Greg Garrett, Executive Director, Access to Nutrition Initiative
  • Kazi Jawoad Hossain, Climate, Resilience, and Agriculture Manager, iDE
  • Chioma Izuwah, Business Fights Poverty Community Member
  • Demet Intepe, Practical Action
  • Faith Nyanjui Climate Action and Media Officer, The Youth Cafe
  • Julie McCarthy, MD, Taskforce on Nature Markets
  • Haron Muturi, Wake and Shine SHG, Junior Leader, Tharaka Nithi
  • Sherif Muçalla, Researcher
  • Diana Onyango, Head of Technical Team, Farm Africa
  • Juan Pablo Solís, Senior Advisor, Climate and Environment, Fairtrade International.
  • Sarah Roberts, CEO, Practical Action
  • Dr Rohini Saran, Project Lead – Nutrition, PATH
  • Tolu Seun, Business Fights Poverty Community Member
  • Nick Lynch Staunton, Programme Development Manager, Hand in Hand International

Moderator: Katie Hyson, Director, Thought Leadership & COO, Business Fights Poverty


  1. What is the business case and economic rationale for delivering both farmer livelihoods and food security?

  2. What can we learn from others with regards to creating adaptation, resilience and rebuilding to help bolster farmer livelihoods and food security?

  3. What are the risks and opportunities for creating solutions to solve for delivering on farmer livelihoods and food security?


This is a text-based discussion which remains open, so please do continue to share your insights.

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Hi everyone, I am really looking forward to our written discussion - live tomorrow, Wednesday, 25th October, 3-4pm BST / 10-11am EST. I am Katie Hyson, Director of Thought Leadership with Business Fights Poverty and I will be your moderator. Please feel free to introduce yourself too by hitting ‘reply’.

1 Like

I’m Kazi Jawoad Hossain, I am the Climate, Resilience and Agriculture Manager ( of iDE. I’m joining as a panelist from Bangladesh. Looking forward to contribute in the discussion and query.


Hello, Ollie here from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Looking forward to the discussion and hopefully receiving some more nice, challenging questions!


Greetings. My name is Dr Diana Onyango, the Head of the Technical Team in Farm Africa. Based in Nairobi Kenya. I am looking forward to this written discussion. My LinkedIn profile link


Hello, I am Sarah Roberts. CEO of Practical Action, an international development and change organisation operating in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We support people to lift themselves out of poverty and work with a range of organisations to change the systems that keep people poor and vulnerable. I look forward to the discussion.
Sarah Roberts | LinkedIn


Greetings. It’s great to join you. I’m Dr. Megan Dwyer Baumann, Global Qualitative Research Lead at Women’s World Banking. I look forward to hearing more about your work. I’m joining from Chicago, Illinois in the United States.’s-world-banking/mycompany/verification/


I am Felix Atamba, a passionate sustainability enthusiast dedicated to driving positive change and sustainability practices in various sectors. Let’s Connect:


Hi, I’m Dale Buscher the Vice President for Programs for the Women’s Refugee Commission


I am delighted to start our conversation today with the first question:

A1: Women’s World Banking works with financial services providers (FSPs) and regulators to create the services and policies that facilitate women farmers’ use of financial services to meet their business and personal goals.

Women’s World Banking has worked with banks, fintechs, and crop insurance companies to increase market access, incentivize sustainable crop management practices, and make financing for farm infrastructure more accessible for small-scale farmers. As one example, Pula, a Women’s World Banking Asset Management portfolio company, provides yield index insurance products for crop and livestock to underserved women and men smallholder farmers across Africa.


A2: Food security is not an issue of growing more food, but instead of better distributing the food produced and fomenting the production of diversified crops. Businesses have an enormous opportunity to strengthen the supply chain at all levels – from transport to cold storage to processing to market creation. Women’s World Banking has recently been working on another piece of the solution – the need for digital public infrastructure that works for women. Read more here.


Hi Everyone, I am Nick Lynch-Staunton and I work at Hand In Hand International as Programme Development Manager.


A3: Most agricultural producers have diversified livelihoods - they complement income from growing with off-farm sources of income. We know that women use their income to support their families. By supporting women’s livelihoods within the agricultural sector, businesses are supporting households’ health, communities’ well-being, and region’s successful food production.


After good progress in addressing poverty and hunger the number of people facing hunger and food insecurity stared rising again in 2015 and the recent shocks of Covid, the Ukraine war, inflation and cost of living issues has exacerbated the situation.
More people rely on agriculture for their survival than any other occupation. And shockingly, three quarter of the worlds poorest people are farmers, confirming that agriculture simply isn’t working for the vast majority of them.
With 33% of soils are already degraded it is clear that we need to adapt our farming systems fundamentally to deliver both food security and better livelihoods.
While statistics such as these can seem overwhelming, conversely, as Agnes Kaibata, the UN Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit and former Minister of Agriculture in Rwanda put it:
if there’s anything that has the potential to transform the world quickly, it’s the food system.


Hi all, Juan Pablo Solis from Happy to be here and exchange with you all. For further engagement you can visit my LinkedIn profile here:


Hi everyone, my name is Julie McCarthy, I am Managing Director at NatureFinance, and based out of NYC area.

My LinkedIn is


A1: Diverse Income Streams:
Implementing agroecological practices not only enhances the sustainability of farming systems but also diversifies income streams for farmers. By moving away from monoculture and embracing polyculture, farmers can cultivate a variety of crops that complement and support each other. This shift promotes ecological balance, reduces pest and disease pressures, and increases overall resilience.
For instance, integrating beekeeping with crop farming is a prime example of this diversification. Besides providing valuable honey and beeswax, beekeeping enhances natural pollination within the farm ecosystem. This results in improved yields for a wide range of crops, from fruits and vegetables to nuts and legumes. The circular economy of agroecology is evident in this symbiotic relationship, where the health of one element - bees - directly contributes to the prosperity of another - crop production.
This shift towards a more diversified and integrated approach not only bolsters economic returns for farmers but also fosters a regenerative cycle within the agricultural system. It minimizes reliance on external inputs, such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, while promoting self-sufficiency in resource management. This, in turn, leads to a more sustainable and resilient farming system that can adapt to changing environmental conditions.
By integrating agroecological principles, such as intercropping and crop rotation, farmers in can enhance biodiversity, leading to more stable and diversified income streams. For example, interplanting nitrogen-fixing legumes with staple crops not only improves soil fertility but also provides an additional source of income.


  1. Altieri, M. A. (2018). Agroecology: the science of sustainable agriculture. CRC Press.
  2. Kremen, C., & Miles, A. (2012). Ecosystem services in biologically diversified versus conventional farming systems: benefits, externalities, and trade-offs. Ecology and society, 17(4), 40.

I work the humanitarian sector where affected populations are often reliant on food aid for years and even decades. As the World Food Program relies on donor governments to commit the financial resources necessary for the purchase of food, vouchers, or direct cash assistance – the assistance can be erratic, and populations are often faced with cuts to their aid. Investing in farmer livelihoods not only allows for farmers’ families to become self-sufficient but also provides locally available foods to communities at cheaper prices than imported foods and allows food given as humanitarian assistance to be purchased locally.


A1: For sustainability in food security, farmers’ livelihoods have to be strengthened and scaled up. Smallholder farmers are the main source of food in rural communities. Food insecurity primarily stems from reduced availability of food at the household and community level. programmes that aim at strengthening farmers’ livelihoods by incorporating climate-smart agriculture practices, economic empowerment and the adoption of resilience-building strategies and technologies will have a direct impact on food security in rural communities.