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Healthy farms, prosperous farmers

Healthy farms, prosperous farmers

The significance of farmers

At the same time, smallholder farmers often work in dangerous conditions, lack proper training and produce low yields; all of which affect their livelihoods. This – along with globalisation, disease and pest outbreaks, and climate change – threatens the future of our farms, crops and commodities.

But we don’t see farmers as victims in need of aid. Rather, we see them as entrepreneurs who need support to bring their businesses, their farms, to life. We work with smallholders to empower them and improve their resilience, strengthen their connections with clients and their position in the supply chain; all on their own terms.


Some studies suggest smallholder farmers provide up to 80% of the food supply in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
About 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries is made up of women. This number goes up to almost 50% in Eastern and South-eastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Smallholder farmers produce around 40% of Indonesia’s palm oil.

Our work

Our work to increase resilience among smallholder farmers has been ongoing since 2011. Today we work with farmers in the Dominican Republic, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand. Our field teams live and work among the farmers, build trust with them and understand the local context of their lives. This approach informs strategies to address farmers' practical needs and enhance their social and environmental management. Key to these strategies is strengthening farmers' links to other parts of the supply chain, thereby supporting both farmers and their products.

We leverage the power of local and global supply chains by engaging actively suppliers, producers, and brands.

Our programme, implemented with partners, drives change for farmers by enhancing their resilience, empowering them while respecting the environment, and reinforcing their relationship with factories and traders.

We create joint innovative and scalable solutions and act as a bridge for farmers, connecting them to peers and stakeholders.

Why we're unique

At Earthworm Rurality we believe that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, we built community-specific mechanisms that help to empower farmers to create, tap into and own the mechanisms that will strengthen their resilience and improve their livelihoods. What makes us unique is that our local team lives together with communities and works with farmers in the field to understand needs and develop suitable solutions. Our participatory approach allows farmers and the community to come together to create pathways to change together with other local actors involved including government, private businesses, and NGOs.

Our impacts

Since 2015, we have engaged 21’456 farmers across 15 countries and impacted indirectly 60’000 farmers and family members.

2959 of those farmers have diversified their farming activities, increasing their average household income by 20%.

We work with 244 partners and protect more than 53,000 ha of key habitat and forest in our project areas

Our approach

Our farmer-focused programme - Rurality - is built around four goals: to build strong and fruitful relationships along the supply chain, improve farmer
livelihoods and social conditions, protect the environment and scale up successful approaches.

Our Rural Dynamic Diagnostic allows us to understand the local context and build trust with farmers and key stakeholders. It also informs the creation of a joint action plan. During implementation, we adapt, create and scale up Rurality transformation tools working towards improved resilience and livelihoods for farmers and their families.

Rural Dynamics Diagnostic

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Holistic Farm Management (HFM)

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Livelihood Diversification Strategy (LDS)

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