According to the World Bank, more than 60 percent of the world’s poorest people make a living from agriculture. Yet smallholder farmers are increasingly exposed to the risks of climate change, extreme weather and economic instability.

In addition, gender inequality presents a major barrier to advancing sustainable development in rural communities, with women particularly vulnerable to job insecurity, low wages and precarious livelihoods.



As part of our work to eradicate poverty and hunger, we want to empower smallholders to improve their livelihoods, ideally to achieve a living income, and access sufficient, nourishing food for their families. We prioritise initiatives to help people build resilience in the face of risk and the increasing impacts of climate change, and through all our efforts, we seek to promote gender equality and decent work while helping farmers to adopt sustainable practices.

In countries like Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda we work with smallholder farmers, providing them with agricultural and business training to increase their yields – and their profits. We support small farmers to diversify crops and provide them with the tools they need to further expand their enterprises. This enables them to feed their families, give their children an education and pay for healthcare.


Anna James became a widow in 2012. Not only is she the sole breadwinner for her six children, Anna – who earns an income through farming – also has four other dependants in her home in Nyida village in northern Tanzania.

“It is not easy to raise a family this big alone,” she said.

But since Oxfam provided training to Anna on how to add value to her produce and improve her farming skills, she has diversified her crops – enabling her to earn more money and increase her financial security.


Oxfam asks companies to review how their decisions and purchasing practices affect smallholders’ ability to make a living income and transform the way they work in order to create positive impacts for smallholders and their communities.

We work with companies of all sizes, particularly in food value chains, to expand opportunities for women and men smallholder farmers, helping them to gain better access to markets, negotiate better contracts, increase production, and add value to their products. This work is fundamental in helping to secure their livelihoods in the face of climate change and resource scarcity.

Beyond this, we campaign for fair, sustainable markets. In particular, we engage with companies and governments to increase the participation of smallholders and farmer-owned enterprises in supply chains and markets in ways that benefit producers.

If you would like to discuss how your company can get involved with Oxfam Ireland, please contact or call (+353) 1 6727662.