Giel ton esfim_session12

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Empowering Smallholder Farmers in Markets, by Giel Ton, (AGRINATURA / LEI Wageningen UR)

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  • The ESFIM programme developed in response to a demand by IFAP, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers. ESFIM was meant to give research support to IFAP on issues related with markets and especially on policies and institutions that define the space of smallholders in market. Not on production issues, Not on climate change. But specifically on the issues of institutions in markets that time-after-time came up as the principal issues for smallholder farmers organisations: markets are the key for triggering innovation in agriculture, and the key for poverty reduction. IFAP was dissolved in 2010, tragically by a bankruptcy. Meanwhile, AGRINATURA is in charge of the administration of the programme. However the intention is to make the programme ‘farmer-led’ also at that programmatic, global level in the future. A new platform on the global level is necessary but still needs time to develop organically. The ten national farmer organisations where we started to work with continued to do so in a second phase from 2010-2012 with financing of IFAD and the Dutch government. Especially in Africa the structure of regional farmer organisations is replacing the earlier role of IFAP as a coordinating platform for these ESFIM partners and many many others. In Latin America and Asia however this is not yet the case.
  • The ten farmer organisation are located in three continents: In Latin America (4): the coffee union JNC in Peru, the cooridnatorr of economic farmer organisations CIOEC in Bolivia, the federation of agricultural cooperatives CAF in Uruguay and the Costa Rican coordination of women groups, CMC. In Africa (5): the farmer federation of Benin FUPRO; the smallholders’ federation NASFAM in Malawi, UNFFE in Uganda and KENFAP in Kenya; and CPM, the coalition of farmer movements in Madagascar. In Asia, ESFIM works with the Free Farmers Federation in the Philippines.
  • We have a major objective in supporting the voice of national farmers’ organisations in policy making on smallholder market access. And, we also have an objective to bridge the gap between two cultures that have difficulties in relating with each other: the research community and the farmers’ organisations.
  • What are the structuring elements of these two cultures: Research institutes tend to value two things: you get status through peer-reviewed articles; or you get status by managing big research budgets..... And the two issues tend no to be present in the life-worlds of farmer organisations: they have little money to spend and are not very much interested in research methods but only in the findings, and especially findings that can be used to influence policy makers. Thus, newspapers, not scientific articles. And worse..... Famer organisations tend to function in a extremely dynamic and demanding context that makes that their advocacy needs and therefore also their demand for research support and evidence, is rapidly changing. It makes it difficult for them to concentrate during a large period on the same issues. While that is exactly where we as researchers dream about: have sufficient time to plan thoroughly our research, to make it fit in our busy schedules. And we definitely cannot cope very well with the changes in the terms of references during the research period..... While farmer organisations need these adjustments, for instance changing they need flexibility to change dates of workshops, times for field work, or change the dates of major advocacy events, etc. Nevertheless, there are also positive points where we can build our efforts on: farmer organisations are well-aware of their lack of skills to grasp with all existing information and to digest existing research results However, even when they have money to spend on it, they tend to be short in funding for many other activities too, and therefore are very much unwilling to pay much for research or consultancies. They can hire necessary technical staff to provide services to their members for long periods instead of spending the same amount of money on several days inout of an external consultant. Thus, these inherent tendencies in both cultures lead to two things: One, everybody sees it as a problem and wants to resolve it. At least, that is what the discourse is. Second, the real experiences in doing it, in making research farmer-led, are still very very limited
  • ESFIM is one of such pilot experiences. As I already indicated. It is a small programme. Only 2.1 million for a five year period. Most of our budget is spend on ‘collaborative research’, where research priorities are defined by the national farmers’ organisition in each country. In the last two years they had each a budget of 40.000 US$ to spend, and another 40,000 was spent on AGRINATURA backstopping. The comparative research was done on issues that emerged from IFAP and especially an international conference in Tunis in 2007. We worked on four themes, to make policy briefs about the current state of thinking on Risk Insurance – Innovative Finance – Market information systems And, a fourth issue: organisational experience on collective marketing: ways that organisations use to prevent the centrifugal forces that are inherent in collective action: the group has some requirements that the members have difficulties with to meet (like quality systems; loyalty in supply, etc.) and the member has some requirements that the group has difficulties to meet e.g. prompt cash payment; or special treatment to them compared to non-members). Another output in this theme is a web-site where we collect this ‘organisational intelligence’ – www.collectivemarketing.org Referring back to our budget..... So the good news is..... what we did is cheap! The bad news is ....... we need more funders to take this further and scale it up. We are looking for funding partners  and we hope this approach to work closely with national farmer organisaitons can be mainstreamed into the GCARD processes and agenda for the coming 2 years
  • ESFIM is one of such pilot experiences. As I already indicated. It is a small programme. Only 2.1 million for a five year period. Most of our budget is spend on ‘collaborative research’, where research priorities are defined by the national farmers’ organisition in each country. In the last two years they had each a budget of 40.000 US$ to spend, and another 40,000 was spent on AGRINATURA backstopping. The comparative research was done on issues that emerged from IFAP and especially an international conference in Tunis in 2007. We worked on four themes, to make policy briefs about the current state of thinking on Risk Insurance – Innovative Finance – Market information systems And, a fourth issue: organisational experience on collective marketing: ways that organisations use to prevent the centrifugal forces that are inherent in collective action: the group has some requirements that the members have difficulties with to meet (like quality systems; loyalty in supply, etc.) and the member has some requirements that the group has difficulties to meet e.g. prompt cash payment; or special treatment to them compared to non-members). Another output in this theme is a web-site where we collect this ‘organisational intelligence’ – www.collectivemarketing.org Referring back to our budget..... So the good news is..... what we did is cheap! The bad news is ....... we need more funders to take this further and scale it up. We are looking for funding partners  and we hope this approach to work closely with national farmer organisaitons can be mainstreamed into the GCARD processes and agenda for the coming 2 years
  • The choice to follow the priorities of the farmer organisations, with their advocacy agendas and their contextual problems related with institutional arrangements in markets, made that ESFIM worked in every country a different set of issues. In the Philippines on a process to make the electronic trade in maize more accessible for smallholders. In Malawi to explore models to generate quality seed supply, and to review the state of the many marketing information systems. In Kenya they started with an audit of the input voucher programme and followed with an analysis of the East-African experiences in warehouse receipt systems. Madagascar explored different initiatives to increase rural service provisioning. In Uganda UNFFE held a consultation rounds (‘fireplace conversations’) to hear first-hand experiences with the NAADS extension system. In Benin the focus was on sector policies in maize. In Bolivia they worked towards a law that could trigger preferential policies for collective marketing. The other three countries are present in this meeting and can explain their experiences in more detail. This diversity is however relative. You can see three groups of issues that have been prioritized: Issues related with changes in the way that markets operate, and especially innovations that can help smallholders to get better prices for their cash crops Issues that are more related with service provisioning, especially in the African countries And the area of collective marketing through cooperatives or similar organisations, in Latin America
  • Giel ton esfim_session12

    1. 1. Empowering Smallholder Farmers in Markets - farmer-driven research for advocacy - Giel Ton AGRINATURA / LEI Wageningen UR
    2. 2. • Initiated by IFAP in 2007, a global farmers’ organisation that bankrupted in 2010• The programme continued with ten National Farmers’ Organisations (NFOs), one in each country• Budget (2007-2012): US$ 2,1k – (2007-2010) Financially supported by IFAD, AGRICORD/AGRITERRA and CTA – (2010-2012) Financially supported by IFAD and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation – (2012-2016) Pending • Strategic research support by three members of AGRINATURA (European Alliance on Agricultural Knowledge for Development): • Wageningen UR – The Netherlands • NRI/University of Greenwich – UK • CIRAD - France
    3. 3. Collaborative Research in 10 countries
    4. 4. Main objectives:– Research support to national farmers’ organisations that strengthens their capacities to formulate feasible, evidence-based propositions for better policies and institutions, based on a focussed advocacy agenda on smallholder market access– Bridging the gap between the research community and national farmers’ organisations
    5. 5. RESEARCH COMMUNITY FARMER ORGANISATIONS• Research institutes tend to focus • NFOs are interested in findings not on peer-reviewed academic so much in research methods, and outputs (focus = methods) and need newspapers, not academic less on how findings can be journals made relevant for development • NFOs contract practice researchers/consultants, when• Researchers are more interested linked to their short-term in mid/long-term studies (advocacy) priorities• Funding generally for pre- • NFOs often lack capacity to access defined research issues: little existing research results flexibility to adapt • NFO do not prioritise own budget• High staff-fee rates for external researchers There are many good intentions , tough limited real experiences with institutional arrangements that effectively bridge the gap between these different ‘institutional cultures’.
    6. 6. ESFIM activitiesA. COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH(90% of total budget)• Research priorities defined by NFO: – Participatory workshops: address critical constraints for smallholders’ access to markets – Local research on key issues contracted by NFO – Backstopping by AGRINATURA (LEI, CIRAD, NRI)B. COMPARATIVE RESEARCH(10% of total budget)• Overarching desk studies and policy briefs: – Risk Insurance Models – Innovative Financial Models – Market Information Systems – Incentive Structures in Collective Marketing
    7. 7. www.collectivemarketing.org
    8. 8. ESFIM activitiesA. COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH(90% of total budget)• Research priorities defined by NFO: – Participatory workshops: address critical constraints for smallholders’ access to markets – Local research on key issues contracted by NFO – Backstopping by AGRINATURA (LEI, CIRAD, NRI)B. COMPARATIVE RESEARCH(10% of total budget)• Overarching desk studies and policy briefs: – Risk Insurance Models – Innovative Financial Models – Market Information Systems – Incentive Structures in Collective Marketing
    9. 9. 1st National Workshop: Defining priorities 2nd National Workshop: thematic deepening Member consultationConsultancies process ESFIM Collaborative Research Advocacy events
    10. 10. Research focus in collaborative research: diversity with flexibility MarketPhilippines – FFF: Electronic Commodity Trade institutionsMalawi – NASFAM: Seed supply; Market information systemKenya – KENFAP: Input vouchers; Warehouse Receipt SystemMadagascar – CPM: Rural service provisioning Services toUganda – UNFFE: NAADS rural advisory system farmersBenin – FUPRO: Maize sector policy; Value chain developmentCosta Rica – CMC: Farmers’ markets; Food sovereignty legislationBolivia – CIOEC: Preferential policies for collective marketingPeru – JNC: Taxation of cooperatives; Government procurementUruguay – CAF: Cooperatives in national innovation policy Organisation for marketing
    11. 11. Way forward?• Research Support Funds, available to NFOs exclusively, for contracted research that provides evidence to help inform and refine their advocacy strategies• Budget for NFOs to facilitate these research proposals, including the necessary participative processes of policy generation and targeted advocacy• Funds to exchange experiences in regional, continental and global networks of farmer organisations• Budget for backstopping and strategic research support There is a growing coalition of (currently 15) national farmer organisations and three regional farmer organisations interested in deepening and scaling-up the ESFIM approach
    12. 12. Thank you! http://www.esfim.org http://www.collectivemarketing.org giel.ton@wur.nlFinancial support:

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