European Research Finds Small Farms’ Contribution to Food Production Undervalued
A study in the European Union and Africa by the SALSA consortium has found that food production from small farms is frequently underestimated in official statistics. Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine reports that SALSA identified a gap between actual farm production and the production recorded in official statistics. Researchers believe the gap could stem from food used to feed family, friends, and animals on the farm. In addition to this food production that’s not accounted for, researchers point out that farms of less than five hectares can play an important role in local food security and can reduce environmental costs of food transport and production out of season. The study’s authors say that because small farm production is undervalued, those small farms often don’t receive the governmental support they deserve and need. This means, in turn, that small farms may not be achieving their full food-production potential.