Our future relies on regenerative practices. But small-scale farmers need help.

Industrial agriculture and food production are major contributors to climate change. Small-scale farmers do a lot for the environment — not to mention that they feed the majority of the developing world. 

However, these farmers experience increasing pest pressure, decreasing yields, and challenges from a quickly changing landscape. These issues threaten their livelihoods and have serious implications for those who depend on their crops.

Scaling and spreading agroecological strategies for combating climate change and feeding hungry communities must be a global priority. Despite the serious threat that climate change poses to humanity, and to small-scale farmers in particular, proven solutions like planting in agroforestry systems and using cover crops and compost to boost soil organic matter and fertility receive little government or market support.

Why Small-Scale Farmers?

380 million smallholder farming families in the Global South produce over 70% of food (as measured by total calories) for the Global South and at least half, by the same measurement, consumed globally.

Small-scale farmers are among the most affected by climate change even though they don’t produce a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Small-scale farmers practicing regenerative organic agriculture can drawdown greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate global climate change.

Small-scale farmers receive little government or market support and safeguards and are vulnerable to increasing pest pressure, decreasing yields, and climate extremes. 

Working Towards a Sustainable Future

Climate Action

Introducing Agroforestry

Agroforestry is a system of planting crops and trees together to improve social, economic, and environmental benefits. Planting in agroforestry systems allows farmers to restore water and nutrients to their soil, increase the production of food, and pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. 

Learn more about our approach to agroforestry here

Grow Ahead Agroforestry Illustration

Small Farmers Cool the Planet

Industrial agriculture drives 30–50% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The list of culprits from big farms includes:

  • chemical fertilizers
  • pesticides
  • heavy machinery
  • monocultures
  • land change
  • deforestation
  • refrigeration
  • waste
  • transportation
The result? A food system that creates emissions and global climate changes.

However, studies show that small-scale farmers are experts at doing more with less. They feed the majority of the world with a quarter of all farmland. And they even manage to reduce emissions along the way.

Though small farms are more productive and have ample potential to contribute to climate resiliency, they're fading fast. By switching to organic management practices like agroforestry, they can continue to reduce GHGs while upping production.

Support a Campaign

Our campaigns raise money for projects that are completely designed, implemented, and managed by community cooperatives. This is a radical shift in community development, placing trust in local knowledge and expertise. As a result, communities have more sovereignty over their food supplies and resources to spread knowledge on sustaining their communities and their lands.

Agroforestry and Cocoa in Ghana

Campaign Goal: $50,000

Country: Ghana

Grow Ahead has teamed up with Kuapa Kokoo to support Agroforestry and Cocoa in Ghana project.

Indigenous-led Ecosystem Restoration in Mexico

Campaign Goal: $60,000

Country: Mexico

Grow Ahead has teamed up with Communal Assets of the Lacandona Zone (BCZL) to support traditional Mayan agroforestry to boost biodiversity, support soil health and restore freshwater in the lagoons, rivers and springs of the Lacandona Jungle.

Scholarships for Movement-Based Master’s Degree in Agroecology and Food Sovereignty

Grow Ahead is teaming up with ECOSUR to fund scholarships for 13 professionals, peasant-farm leaders, leaders of Indigenous organizations, cooperatives and community associations from Mexico and Latin America to receive their Professional Master’s Degree in Agroecology for Food Sovereignty.

Community-led Reforestation and Food Sovereignty in Thailand

Campaign Goal: $65,000

Country: Thailand

Grow Ahead has teamed up with Assembly of the Poor (AOP) to support a project to enhance agroforestry and community food-forests for food sovereignty in Thailand.