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You are here: Home Magazines Global edition New markets, new values

New markets, new values

last modified Jan 16, 2015 10:11 AM

Many social processes are seeking to rebuild, revitalise and diversify market circuits in a way that promotes a more equitable distribution of the wealth generated through agriculture.

This issue of Farming Matters presents a small sample of the many innovative market arrangements being developed by both producers and consumers. These experiences generate substantial employment, and also build local food security and food sovereignty. Yet they are often overlooked by policymakers and mainstream development experts who view them as “niche” initiatives, supposedly irrelevant for larger development processes. There is work for researchers here: by analysing and quantifying their impact, they can help policymakers see the real strengths of localisation.

Farming Matters | 29.2 | June 2013

Table of contents:

  • 2 - 2
    Deadline: October 1st, 2013
  • 3 - 3
    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.
  • 5 - 5
    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.
  • 6 - 7
    Farming Matters welcomes comments, ideas and suggestions from its readers. Please contact us via e-mail at or write to P.O Box 90, 6700 AB Wageningen, the Netherlands.
  • 8 - 9
    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 general, these successful cases involve developing closer relationships between producers and consumers through revitalising and reorganising local or regional markets, in ways that create space for economically beneficial exchanges and also promote the biologicallydiverse and culturally-contextualised production typical of peasant agriculture.
  • 10 - 13
    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 different efforts have led to viable alternatives. One of these is Rede Raízes da Mata, started in 2011 as a joint initiative by a group of university students and local producers.
  • 14 - 17
    Interview (June 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 concept of farmer agency and their interest in being part of a value chain.
  • 18 - 20
    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 age-old practice of direct marketing is coming back to the Netherlands, and consumers are playing an important role.
  • 21 - 21
    (June 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.
  • 22 - 23
    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 analysis of different marketing models has led to the development of a new marketing approach.
  • 24 - 26
    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 positive impact, leading to higher incomes and also to healthier ecosystems.
  • 27 - 27
    With a population of more than 28 million, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia. But it is enormously rich in terms of biodiversity and natural resources, and agriculture plays a very important role in the country’s economy. It is also very rich in another way: young people make up 40 percent of the population. The problem is that young people don’t seem to be interested in agriculture.
  • 28 - 29
    Community biodiversity management / Fed up / Land concentration, land grabbing and people’s struggles in Europe / Our nutrient world / State of the World 2013 / The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) / More on markets
  • 30 - 31
    The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food was launched as an initiative to improve livelihoods and food security through better water management for food production (crops, fisheries and livestock). From an initial focus on productivity, the emphasis changed towards the adoption of innovations that improve livelihoods and address specific challenges in different river basins. After more than ten years of work, there are a lot of lessons to share. Our work in Zimbabwe and Cambodia, for example, has shown how markets can contribute to the dissemination and adoption of these innovations.
  • 32 - 33
    Throughout the world, small-scale farmers face different challenges when building a market for their products. Different strategies, involving different stakeholders, are proving to be beneficial, contributing to the generation of more sustainable livelihoods.
  • 34 - 36
    The north of Uganda has seen havoc and terror for more than two decades. More than ninety per cent of the inhabitants of the Pader district have lived in camps for refugees for ten years or more. Only since 2005 have people dared to return to their land, where they are gradually rebuilding their lives. For most, the only means to survive outside the refugee camps was to start growing their own food again. This has not been easy. But agriculture is not only possible: farming is also becoming a profitable activity.
  • 37 - 37
    (June 2013) Female entrepreneurs are a formidable force in Zimbabwe's rural areas. Shiela Chikulo argues for public policies and private support. This will help them continue supporting their families, while simultaneously contributing to economic recovery and growth.
  • 38 - 40
    In December 2012 Farming Matters ran an article about “Development 3.0”, highlighting the importance of showcasing peoples’ experiences as an inspiration for social change. The Canastas Comunitarias, a movement started by families to address their concerns over food prices (and presented in vol. 28.3 of our magazine) provides a clear example of this approach. Today, the movement has expanded to six cities in Ecuador and has diversified to address new concerns, but remains a perfect example of the benefits of local food systems.
  • 41 - 41
    Using documentation for social learning, three female farmer leaders, a journalist and representatives from nongovernmental organisations across West Africa gathered together in May 2013 to analyse strategies to upscale sustainable farming.
  • 42 - 43
    The AgriCultures Network was present at the Second Scientific Conference of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, which took place in Bonn, Germany. Network members have also been active on many other fronts.
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