The world’s population will reach 9 billion by 2050. Are we ready to feed an extra 2 billion mouths? Consensus has been growing around the crucial role of family farmers in ensuring food security for our future populations. In fact, with over 500 million family farms in the world today, this is the predominant form of agriculture and it is inextricably linked to the fight against hunger and poverty.

We are very conscious of the key role that family farmers will play towards the eradication of hunger; in making the shift to more sustainable and inclusive food production systems, and in reducing rural poverty for future generations. At the Livelihoods Camp 2015, we put the spotlight on them by recognizing their unique contributions to our society. This unique occasion celebrates best practices and initiatives that allow them to increase their productivity, thus benefitting the rest of our planet.

Paradoxically, though family farmers are key to providing food security, they are among the world’s most vulnerable populations. More than 70% of the food insecure population is made up of family farmers in rural areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They cannot reach their full production potential because they lack access to resources, credit, policies and technologies.

Furthermore, climate change is exacting a heavy toll on agricultural production. The economic, social and environmental stakes linked to family farming are particularly high in Africa, notably in West Africa and in countries in the Sahel, which are particularly vulnerable to the challenges of adapting to climate change and rely on vulnerable ecosystems.

The purpose of the Livelihoods 2015 Camp is to bring together prominent actors from the public and private sectors working in the fields of agriculture and sustainable development to come up with the best solutions for tomorrow’s family farming and to equip farmers with the right tools and information to increase their productivity. All kind of evidence shows that poor family farmers can quickly deploy their productivity potential when the appropriate policy environment is effectively put in place. Public and private actors can help by providing vital financial services, such as access to credit and insurance. The point of the hands-on camp is to foster a dynamic exchange and network.