Extreme poverty breeds hunger and malnutrition for lack of capacity to produce or to afford to buy food, and because insufficient access to education and information also deprives households of basic nutritional knowledge. In turn, malnutrition prevents children from working properly at school and reduces the productivity of people at work – when it does not prevent them from working. The dumping of subsidised agricultural products from industrial countries undercuts local production, thus depriving farmers of income and depriving entire countries of the agricultural base they need to develop other sectors of the economy.
Soil degradation through erosion, overuse or use of chemical products, overgrazing, or salinisation resulting from inadequate water management entail loss of income base for small farmers and doom them to poverty. Insufficient access to education and to information, make it difficult for poor people to manage agricultural production in a sustainable and sound manner, thus creating loss of livelihood opportunities. Poor farmers cannot afford fertilisers and equipment used by some of their competitors and may be disenfranchised as a result.
Population growth resulting from poverty puts pressure on existing arable land, and pushes people towards more fragile and marginal lands, thus contributing to an acceleration of erosion, ecological vulnerability, landslides, etc.
Free and universal access to education, vocational training in modern and affordable agricultural techniques, making modern and appropriate equipment available at low cost, help reduce poverty. Investments in irrigation systems, and in water management lead to higher yields and better preservation of the ecosystem. Agrarian reform in favor of the poor and special measures for women can contribute to lifting people out of poverty.
Food supplies and nutrition programme in special situations and circumstances are needed to ensure food security. Fair agreements on trade are required to protect the income base of farmers in developing countries. International co-operation for development is also required.