To obtain food security for the billions of people, the small scale farmers must play a major role.
Food security, food production and environment protection are closely linked and are important not only for the millions of farmers directly affected, but also for the societies at large. The farmers need to learn better farming methods, and they need to be integrated in the economy of their countries.
With climate change having more and more consequences, the environment is threatened at a new level, and the struggle for the immediate food security and for making a surplus food production intensifies.
Some of the bigger environmental problems of the Earth are closely linked to water and food production. They threaten peace and stability in many places and braod and inclusive solutions must be found together with the people.
Humana People to People programs train small-scale farmers in sustainable agriculture practices such as conservation farming, and equips the farmers with knowledge they can use to adjust to the changing conditions. As an integrated part of the training, the farmers get organized around exploring and sharing water resources, securing inputs and marketing of their produce. General knowledge and skills within nutrition, health and community development are also included. This concept is called Farmers´ Clubs.
The aim is to provide the farmers with such knowledge and organization that they can respond to the needs of their families and communities today, increase their income, and become integrated in the market economy. In many Farmers´ Clubs the majority of the farmers are women. Thus the Farmers´ Clubs can also be regarded as a gender program, empowering the women, and it includes many club activities, which also focus on the well-being of the whole family with regard to water and sanitation, nutrition, health and education.
The agriculture training of the farmers depends on the local conditions: some concentrate on crop husbandry, others on animal husbandry, some with irrigation, others pure dry-land farming. The farmers are organized in groups of 250 farmers with one project leader, who provides the agriculture training in practice and theory. The project leader also facilitate the organization of the farmers and trains them in self-organizing, so that lasting structures are built among them in the project period.
National agriculture extension services are integrated in the programs for mutual benefit – the farmers learn from the extension workers, and the extension system is reinforced in a dynamic exchange.