By Leah Baines
Throughout the world, agriculture from small farmers provides food for 70 percent of the population, while industrial agriculture only supplies 30 percent. But, ironically, most of the 2.8 million people living in poverty around the world are farmers. The documentary “The Last Farmer” highlights how small-scale farmers are suffering from poverty as a result of globalization and the growing shift towards industrial agriculture.
Directed by Giuliano Girelli, the documentary follows three farmers and their families in Indonesia, Guatemala, and Burkina Faso throughout their day. It draws attention to the struggles they face from lack of agricultural diversity, diminishing soil fertility, food insecurity, and decreasing incomes. The video also includes commentary from experts about the effects of globalization all over the world.
“Agriculture [has] the word culture in there, right? It’s actually doing something in a cultural way,” said Hira Jhamtani, an environmental activist in Indonesia. “But we have made it into an industry…the multinational companies are taking over the role of small farmers. Everywhere…whether it’s Europe, whether it’s in the US or whether it’s in Indonesia, family farmers are being displaced by big companies.”