Need to raise global agricultural output is crucial and urgent because issues such as : Global food crisis Potential for global hunger Adverse effects of climate change Demand for raw material for bio-fuels.
Smallholder farmers in developing countries are strategically important because: They dominate farm sector in developing countries (over 2.5 billion people involved) Improved sector performance has statistically significant poverty reduction impact
Smallholders : Heads they lose, Tails they lose!!!
Smallholder farmers face production and post harvest risks When unfavourable natural factors e.g. drought, flood, disease, pests, depletion of soil fertility etc lead to reduced output, smallholders lose (tails) When favourable natural factors lead to good production but markets are inaccessible and/or prices are volatile, smallholder are unable to sell their product and also lose (heads)
Key to helping smallholder farmers is understanding their ability to manage risk
Production problems constrain yield Public/donor investment in research has declined limiting availability of better performing crop varieties and livestock breed. Yield-enhancing farm inputs and improved crops and livestock not affordable to smallholders. Poor provision of extension and veterinary services. Single-farm irrigation technology unaffordable and public investment in irrigation declining.
Problems with marketing systems accentuate post-harvest risks Marketing systems constrained by lack of - Basic transport and storage infrastructure -Reliable market information systems -Standard measures and grading systems -Modern market institutions that facilitate impersonal trade -Trade finance for effective inventory management -Stable, trade-friendly policies and regulations
Limited options for managing risks Risk sharing options are severely under-developed (e.g. contract farming and forward contracts) Markets for risk transfer are absent (e.g. crop and livestock insurance and hedging instruments) Formal coping systems also absent (e.g. welfare transfers) Consequence Households adopt risk minimising strategies Low yield but more tolerant crops, mixed farming, crop rotation Leading to slow growth in agricultural output and productivity.
Programme objectives To improve welfare of smallholders by increasing access to effective tools for managing farm risks, through: -Identifying, improving, replicating and/or promoting effective/feasible tools -Fostering dialogue to ensure supportive policy and regulatory framework -Encouraging lesson learning.
Programme approach Holistic: - focus not only on mitigating individual but also inter-related risks Contextualise lessons: - understand context within which particular systems succeed Inductive:- derive over-aching insights from different cases Ensure effective stakeholder engagement (from beginning) Focus:- developing countries (especially Africa) but lessons from Europe, America and elsewhere
Phase I (Inception and Scoping) Key outputs include: -Stakeholder mapping -Inventory of farm risk management tools based on desk-based papers (produced by ECART members and others) -In-depth studies of selected tools leading to synthesis of feasible options -Dissemination of feasible options -Adoption of framework for selecting countries for Phase II.
Phase II (Innovation/Validation) The key activities include: -Selecting four participating countries from Africa, Asia and South America -Agree plans for developing or strengthening accessible risk management systems -Implement plans agreed with national stakeholders -Monitor, evaluate and share lessons from country experiences
Progress to date Identification Fiche submitted to EC -Likely funding in 2009 Consultations ongoing with Agence Francaise de Developpement and Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres et Europeenes on support for research and development of post-harvest risk management tools/systems -Work likely to be undertaken in first half of 2009. -Further funding need!