Smallholder farmers will soon be better able to weigh up the cost and benefits of adopting new practices that support some of the most overlooked contributors to global food security — the insects and other animals that pollinate their crops and boost yields.
Across the developing world, food systems and supply chains are changing — exports are rising, particularly in fresh foods, supermarkets are playing an increasingly important role and there is a growing number of standards for safety, ethics and environment.
In The Hague, Stockholm and Paris we have heard the call for more support to producer organisations through which small-scale farmers can have a voice in the market. This call was re-iterated at the latest IIED/HIVOS provocation ‘Making markets work for smallholders or wage labour?’ — held in Manchester, United Kingdom, last week, in collaboration with The University of Manchester.
Within development circles, there’s a common, if recent, mantra that the key to reducing poverty in the global South lies in investing in agriculture. Increasingly that investment focuses on building bridges between small-scale farmers and private markets in approaches known as ‘markets for the poor’.