Organic, small-scale, community gardening is the only way to go. This message does not only come from 'buy-local' campaigners, environmentalists or small-scale farmers themselves, it is also the conclusion of a United Nations report published recently.
The report with contributions from more than 60 scientists, called "Wake Up Before It's Too Late", comes from the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). UNCTAD is a little-known UN inter-governmental body that aims to "maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries while helping them face the challenges of globalization", according to their website.
It contradicts the message pushed by the World Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Bank. It says major changes are needed in the world's food and agriculture systems, and that governments should reform trade rules to incentivise small-scale farming.
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy says "Transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems in order to increase diversity on farms, reduce our use of fertilizer and other inputs, support small-scale farmers and create strong local food systems". Their coverage on the report can be found here.
The UN report states: “This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers".
This move would not only benefit local farmers, it would also empower farmers in developing countries.