Successful agricultural development initiatives associated with poverty reduction have seldom included large-scale land-based investment. Feed the Future focuses on smallholder-led agricultural growth as the principal engine of poverty reduction and food security. Investment in agriculture of all sizes, however, can be constructive and is encouraged by the U.S. Government, but investments must take into account specific country contexts and circumstances and respect the rights of local populations.
The increasing demand for land and natural resources brings diverse users into competition. There is a clear need to secure legitimate rights and develop effective processes to resolve disputes without conflicts. Natural resources degradation, which is an increasing challenge in many Feed the Future regions, can be addressed by integrating environmental management practices that boost agricultural productivity, increase incomes and enhance resilience to drought and other environmental shocks.
Brazilian police have arrested a priest in the Amazon who championed the rights of smallholders against powerful agricultural interests.