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What Future for the World’s Half-Billion Small Farmers? Book on Small Producers in the Globalized Market Published

21 Feb 2013


What Future for the World’s Half-Billion Small Farmers? Book on Small Producers in the Globalized Market Published
From the Foreword:

"What happens when you bring the themes of citizen-driven change, agency and markets together, around the complex choices facing small-scale producers in an era of globalization? This book helps us to understand farmers’ economic agency under severe resource constraints and in a context marked by weak, distant or sometimes even predatory government and private institutions. It helps us understand why small-scale farmers may not enter so-called high-value markets, or join a producer organization. It challenges our institutions and the development community, both in terms of our assumptions and how we go about the process of generating knowledge.

"In the current fierce debates on the roles of smallholders and agribusiness in global food security, or designing a set of global sustainable development goals, we hope that our findings will generate wiser policies and interventions."

UNRISD partnered with HIVOS, IIED and other research and advocacy organizations in a series of "provocations": debates examining the assumptions, impacts, evidence, benefits and risks of “making markets work” for small-scale farmers. These events, held between 2010 and 2012, aimed to challenge conventional wisdom on the inclusion of smallholders in markets and bring fresh perspectives to the discussion on what works and why. UNRISD cohosted one of the provocations, Pro-Poor Business, Development and Smallholder Empowerment, with Vredeseilanden.

A book including insights from the provocations has just been published: Small Producer Agency in the Globalised Market: Making Choices in a Changing World, edited by Bill Vorley, Ethel Del Pozo-Vergnes and Anna Barnett. The book is a "vital source of information and analysis to question mainstream narratives about ‘making markets work for the poor’ and to rethink development priorities and strategies in a crisis-ridden world," according to Peter Utting, UNRISD Deputy Director.

Small Producer Agency in the Globalised Market is published by HIVOS, IIED and Mainumby Ñakurutú.