Smallholder Empowerment

There are around 500 million smallholder farms in the world. With the global population rising, the demand of agricultural products thereby soaring and the need for climate-resilient farming, the significance of smallholders’ role with regards to resilient food systems can only be expected to grow. Through our work with them, we intend to both foster food security and strengthen their resilience to climate volatility and change.

What is the role of smallholder farmers in global food security?

Smallholder farms tend to be located in developing, rural areas and owned or operated by families which are all too often poor and food insecure, with limited access to agricultural know-how, services and markets. Despite these limitations, smallholders play a pivotal role in global food security, producing food for a significant part of the world’s population while maintaining the food supply’s genetic diversity. Through our work with them, we intend to both foster food security and strengthen their resilience to climate volatility and change.

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KAJVE: Good Agricultural Practices in coffee. 

In Mexico, BASF and UNESCO collaborate on the KAJVE Sustainable Coffee initiative, recognized for its sustainability leadership and impact. The UN Global Compact decorated the project with the LOGRA Sustainability award in the “Prosperity” category.

This initiative has increased the productivity and income of coffee growers in Chiapas while respecting and honoring their traditions and culture through partnership with UNESCO. The project promotes best agricultural practices and innovative agricultural technology to improve the lives of small-scale coffee producers while promoting climate change adaptation and mitigation. It aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals and has already impacted 1,338 growers in Mexico and Guatemala, achieving a 35% increase in production. KAJVE integrates cultural heritage and environmental stewardship with commercial value chains, supporting a sustainable future for coffee production.

Watch the video to hear directly from the coffee growers how BASF is helping them and their families with sustainable and respectful farming and follow KAJVE on social media platforms for updates.



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Smallholders deliver important environmental services

The upscaling of actions enabling them can prove significant for local and international climate change strategies. While some of the issues they face are country-specific, smallholders in emerging markets generally lack access to high quality crop inputs and knowledge to perform right and timely interventions based on good agricultural practices. Supporting smallholder farmers in emerging markets in the transition to more sustainable agriculture therefore requires enabling access to information, advice, and technology to work efficiently and safely.


Joint approach to solving the challenges of smallholder farmers

We support smallholder farmers in achieving better yield by providing access to state-of-the-art innovation and facilitating modern farming techniques enabled by digitalization and know-how of climate-smart practices. The challenges faced by smallholder farmers and their communities cannot, however, be solved by a single entity. We therefore blend our expertise with the local knowledge of partner organizations and across the agricultural value chain to promote best practices and increase prosperity in smallholder communities. In so doing, we will also honor our pledge to the UN Food Systems Summit’s “Zero Hunger, Nourish the Future” initiative.

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Ben Depraetere handing over the seeds to SNV Netherlands Development Organisation


4,400 Farmers in East Amhara and Tigray to receive high-quality seeds to produce 15 million kg of onions as part of SNV’s Farmer Field Schools in Conflict Recovery Program.

BASF’s vegetable seeds business to provide high quality red onion seeds to SNV-Netherlands Development Organisation in Ethiopia. SNV to distribute the seeds to 4,400 smallholders in conflict affected areas in Tigray and East Amhara through its Horti-LIFE program that works with Ministry of Agriculture on establishing Farmer Field Schools (FFS). Read more


Take a look at concrete examples of our Smallholder Empowerment initiatives

Learn more about our sustainability commitments