Innovative Approaches in Smallholder Farming Systems to Implement the Sustainable Development Goals

Ramgopaul Roop, Miles Weaver, Ana-Paula Fonseca, Mohammed Matouq

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The identified 169 targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) refer to agriculture and smallholder farmers’ contributions toward eliminating human hunger globally between 2015 and 2030. Notwithstanding the potential of smallholder farming, the sector encounters substantial challenges, limiting its competitiveness and sustainable capacity to reduce poverty. Worldwide, approximately 570 million small farms cultivate less than 2 hectares and comprise over two billion people operating with traditional or informal tenure, generally in risk-prone and marginal settings. These farmers and participants comprise approximately three-quarters (75%) of the underprivileged, hungry, and malnourished people. Smallholder farmers lack resources, information, technology, and capital assets, limiting their adaptive capacity to climate change and rendering them inadequate to achieve sustainable production, which can contribute to their decline.

Additionally, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively influenced food and nutrition security overall prospects by stalling efforts to achieve ‘Zero Hunger.’ This chapter examines major agricultural activities in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, which provided data on its agricultural output, smallholder farms, climate action, and investment opportunities. The researchers implemented a qualitative method to gather data using interviews, observations, and documentary analysis. The findings suggest that innovative approaches implemented on a model smallholder family farm on 1.5 ha of agricultural land (equivalent to 3 football fields) in Trinidad could be a source of innovation for other farmers in different countries in the region. The chapter provides information and discussion on the innovative measures implemented in building resilience to climate change, which opens new avenues for a sustainable smallholder farming system in the region to achieve the SDGs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSDGs in the Americas and Caribbean Region
EditorsWalter Leal Filho, Noé Aguilar-Rivera, Bruno Borsari, Paulo R. B. de Brito, Baltazar Andrade Guerra
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9783030911881
ISBN (Print)9783030911881
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2023

Publication series

NameImplementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Regional Perspectives
ISSN (Print)2731-5576
ISSN (Electronic)2731-5584


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