In order to meet the Millennium Development Goals, the poverty alleviation programs for smallholder producers will have to be as effective as possible and attract the active participation of as many beneficiaries as possible. A new Village Earth course Challenges in Smallholder Agriculture will evaluate how this might be accomplished by looking at some of the subtle factors that can enhance or hinder the overall effectiveness of programs benefiting small scale agricultural producers. During this process, the course will challenge some of the fundamental premises upon which the development effort has been based. For example, it will investigate the caloric energy smallholders can access relative to what they are expected to exert. This may have a major impact on the number of hours they can be expected to work each day, as well as alter estimates for how many days it will take for them to complete tasks associated with implementing development programs. Finally the class will evaluate the mechanism through which assistance is funneled to smallholders and the role the community as a whole can play in the effort. To register for this or another Village Earth course, please visit our online training courses.