Battle to feed the world pits small farmers against big agriculture. Do small-scale farmers hold the key to fulfilling global goals on hunger and poverty? Or can they only be achieved by large-scale agriculture?

by Mark Anderson

Beatrice Alvitsa holds a bag of cement: higher millet yields are enabling her to rebuild her home in Kenya. Photo: Mark Anderson/The Guardian

Dotted along the narrow path that skirts the edge of Beatrice Alvitsa’s house in Shimanyiro, a green Kenyan valley near the border with Uganda, are dozens of millet plants, each protected by a carefully assembled fence made of sticks. “These keep the chickens and other animals out,” she says, bending down to mend a break in one of the fences.