Smallholders are a large and diverse group of farmers found throughout the world who depend on small plots of land for their survival. The term is widely used but not easy to define because arbitrary size categories do not fit varying environments and cultures. Generally, smallholder agriculture is associated with farming in the developing world. Family or household units commonly carry it out on land that is owned or worked, and it is often characterized by a high proportion of subsistence production.

In the developing world, smallholders constitute the most common agricultural production unit. As such, they are critical for food production not only because of the way they support large rural populations, but also because their surplus production finds its way to markets both locally ...

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