Call for articles: Strengthening family farming
June 23rd, 2013

Deadline: October 1st, 2013 Farming Matters | 29.2 | June 2013 The United Nations declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. This is a very important recognition of the multiple social, economic, environmental and cultural functions of family farming. For example, family farmers produce more than 50% of the world’s food, and are … Read more

Farmers in Focus: An efficient system
June 22nd, 2013

Many cultivators in Dhaubadi, in the Nepalese district of Nawalparasi, are benefitting from extension programmes and better communication facilities and are changing their relationship with the market as a result. The main staple crop in this region is rice, but farmers prefer not to grow it themselves as the potential for irrigation is limited. Instead … Read more

Editorial: New markets, new values
June 22nd, 2013

Agricultural markets are about more than buying and selling commodities. They are about the relationships between producers and consumers, and all the other actors in a value chain. They are also important for our relation with the food we eat. Globalisation has had far-reaching consequences for these relations, with products travelling long distances and with … Read more

Theme overview – Building markets: A challenge for family farming
June 22nd, 2013

In a situation where transnational corporations are playing an increasingly dominant role in the world’s agri-food systems, two of the greatest challenges that family farmers face are developing strategies to improve market access, and adding value to their agricultural production. There are many successful experiences that set examples that may be amenable to replication. In … Read more

Rede Raízes da Mata: Strengthening links between producers and consumers
June 22nd, 2013

As in many other parts of the world, farmers in the Zona da Mata region, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, were encouraged to take up the Green Revolution package. This model also prescribed integration with the international markets. Family farmers, however, have found that this model has not brought the promised benefits. Many … Read more

“We need to support what farmers are already doing”
June 22nd, 2013

Medius Bihunirwa is the head of the Farmer Enterprise Development Unit at Kabarole Research and Resource Centre (KRC), Uganda, where she works with smallholder farmers, enhancing the quality of their produce and improving their access to markets. In her role as member and researcher of the Hivos/IIED Knowledge Network, she has delved deeper into the … Read more

Opinion: Getting a fair share
June 22nd, 2013

In today’s globalised world it is often hard for small-scale producers to access such markets on equitable terms. Development agencies need to make sure that the concerns of these farmers are taken into account in national policies, argues Fatou Batta. Most family farmers produce both for their own consumption and for local and regional markets. … Read more

Old traditions, new practices
June 22nd, 2013

The August 2012 issue of De Boerderij, a popular magazine for Dutch farmers, showed how “innovative farmers are increasingly successful in finding their consumers”. More than 3,300 farmers (out of a countrywide total of 67,000) are selling their produce directly to consumers – bypassing supermarkets in the process. And this number is growing fast. The … Read more

Markets: Learning by doing
June 22nd, 2013

Agrobiodiversity@knowledged aims at generating and sharing evidence and insights. At the heart of the programme is a global knowledge and experience community of organisations working on agricultural biodiversity with millions of farmers worldwide. Markets are a key entry point to scaling up practices that build on agricultural biodiversity. PELUM’s work demonstrates how testing and the … Read more

Creating better opportunities: PGS and Analog Forestry
June 22nd, 2013

Besides providing for many of our needs, forests play a pivotal role in providing ecosystem services, ranging from biodiversity conservation to climate regulation. Yet over the last decade the world has lost an average of more than 5 million hectares of forests every year. Different examples show that marketing forest products can have a very … Read more