Asian ideas sought as small-scale farmers face challenges of globalisation

News, 28 January 2010

Small scale producers, agribusiness entrepreneurs, researchers, nongovernmental organisations and others from across Asia, will gather in India next week to suggest solutions to the challenges confronting smallholders in global, regional and national markets.

The meeting on 4-6 February at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore follows similar events in African and Latin America, and will be attended by people from Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The meeting has been called to seek input into a new network that will be led by Bolivian development expert Diego Muñoz with support from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in the UK and the Humanist Institute for Cooperation (Hivos) in the Netherlands.

"The agenda on smallholders and globalisation has been largely driven from outside of the worlds of food production and trade," says Muñoz. "Policies are not informed by small-scale producers and the people who want to trade with them. This means their concerns are not considered, their experiences are not compared, research is not answering their questions and therefore is not helping them make good choices."

"The network is a response to new challenges that globalised markets for agricultural produce are bringing to small-scale agriculture, challenges that are often common to different actors involved across the global South," adds Muñoz.

It aims to develop new knowledge to help farmers and traders to cope with issues like market volatility and barriers to entering and staying in international and domestic markets.

"The network will commission new studies to produce knowledge that will enable small-scale producers to make good choices about how to navigate increasingly complex global markets as well as to inform better policies," says Muñoz.

"It will address questions such as whether governments should be regulating markets, whether international companies can create fair trading relationships with small-scale farmers and whether new flows of climate finance will bring opportunities for these producers."

Diego Muñoz will be available to meeting journalists at 18.30 on 4 February. To arrange a meeting, contact – Dr Trilochan Sastry, dean and professor at the Indian Institute of Management (, Tel: 080-2658 3213)


Contacts for interviews
Diego Muñoz
Mainumby Nakurutu – La Paz, Bolivia
Tel : + 5912 – 241 4648

Ethel Del Pozo Vergnes
International Institute for Environment and Development – London, UK
Tel: +44(0)20 7388 2117

For other enquiries, contact:

Mike Shanahan
Press officer
International Institute for Environment and Development
3 Endsleigh Street
London WC1H 0DD
Tel: 44 (0) 207 388 2117
Fax: 44 (0) 207 388 2826

Notes to editors

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development (see:

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