Catalyst Applied Innovation Seminar (CTL300) Webguide for Rural Poverty and Farmwork
Food is essential to human survival: it fuels our bodies and provides livelihoods. Our lands and oceans produce enough food – yet a third is wasted every year. Over 11% of people in the world are hungry and 3.1 million children die as a result of malnutrition annually. In the United States, one in eight people do not know where their next meal might come from (Feeding America, 2018). The future of our food supply will be further challenged by climate change, environmental degradation, and worldwide poverty and inequality. The goal of this case is to ensure continued support for agriculture and fishing so that current and future generations are able to produce and have access to safe, healthy, high quality, and culturally appropriate food.
While the majority of farms and fisheries around the world are small scale, global food supply is governed by few companies. In the United States, the average size of a farm is increasing, farmers are getting older, and barriers to entry to farming profession are high particularly for women and people of color. Globally, women account for about a third of agricultural labor force, yet very few women own land (UN Economic and Social Council, 2018). In the US, only about 11% of principal farm operators are people of color (USDA NASS 2017). Farmworkers are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards, abusive working conditions, and face dangers connected with immigration. This challenge addresses support for small farmers and farm workers worldwide to support rural livelihoods.