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P3.2. Enpowering Smallholder Farmers in Markets


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Gid Ton

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P3.2. Enpowering Smallholder Farmers in Markets

  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, global farmers’ organisation that bankrupted in 2010• The programme continued with each of the respective National Farmers’ Organisations (NFOs)• 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. Building a research-advocacy interface– Research support to national farmers’ organisations that strengthen their capacities to formulate feasible, evidence-based propositions to get a more 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 on • NFOs are interested in findings not so peer-reviewed academic outputs (focus much in research methods, and need = methods) and less on how findings can newspapers, not academic journals be made relevant for development • NFOs contract researchers/consultants, practice when linked to their short-term• Researchers are more interested in (advocacy) priorities mid/long-term studies • NFOs often lack capacity to access• Funding generally for pre-defined existing research results research issues: little flexibility to adapt • NFO do not prioritise own budget for• High staff-fee rates external researchers There are many good intentions to link research to farmer organisations’ needs. However, there is 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 – Incentive Structures in Collective Marketing – Market Information Systems
  7. 7. Research focus in collaborative research: diversity with flexibilityPhilippines – FFF: Commodity ExchangeMalawi – NASFAM: Seed supply; Market information systemKenya – KENFAP: Input voucher programme; Warehouse Receipt SystemMadagascar – CPM: Rural service provisioningUganda – UNFFE: NAADS rural advisory systemBenin – 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
  8. 8. Lessons learnt• Need to go beyond a ‘wish-list’ of issues – connect to the NFOs existing/past advocacy trajectories• Relatively high staff turn-over in NFOs – need for systemizing the (long-term) advocacy process and track the related policy initiatives• Embed the research support in a wider support package – Complementary support creates synergy and ‘space for research’• Advocacy events speed-up the research output, but may hinder the depth of analysis – Need to complement short-term consultancies with mid-term complementary research programmes• Delicate balance between funding internal staff and contracting external research support – Separate funding lines may limit this ‘tension’/’temptation’• Effective advocacy needs both grassroots consultations and centralized strategizing – Personal champions are needed but not sufficient; neither is ‘workshopping’
  10. 10. Self-evaluation by the NFO board members (averaged)Improvement capacity compared to three years ago FUPRO CMC UNFFE NASFAM KENFAP FFF CIOEC CAF CPMCapacity areas Benin Costa Rica Uganda Malawi Kenya Philippines Bolivia Uruguay MadagascarCapacity for coherenceCapacity for networkingCapacity to renew and adapt (learning)Capacity to commit and actCapacity to deliver development objectives ESFIM was one contributing factor in a configurations of many other factors
  11. 11. Way forwardNeed for a ‘smart and flexible’ institutional arrangement(governance mechanisms) that provides a balance betweenquality research and support for advocacy events:– Separate funding lines for each: for research assignments and for priority setting and advocacy within the NFO– Requirement of having an advocacy strategy in advance on each issue, but with room for adaptation according to contextual policy dynamics– Sufficient time frame to have a process of interaction that builds confidence (both in researchers and NFOs) in the synergy between research and evidence in the research community and advocacy and learning in the farmer community
  12. 12. What do we need?• 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
  13. 13. What do we offer?• A modality to channel research demands of NFOs to the research community• Committed researchers that are able to cope with the dynamics inherent to working with NFOs• Knowledge on current policies that affect smallholder access to markets• Access to networks of famer organisations that do advocacy on smallholder issues A growing coalition of (currently) 15 national farmer organisations and three regional farmer organisations interested in deepening and scaling- up the ESFIM approach
  14. 14. THANK YOUFinancial support: