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Have your say on investing in smallholder agriculture

by Aksel Naerstad

The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) has published the V0 draft of the report  Investing in smallholder agriculture for food and nutrition security and is seeking feedback and inputs to further elaborate the document.
Deadline to submit input is January 30, 2013. Final findings of the report are to be presented at CFS Plenary session, in October 2013.

Contribute to improvements
The report will be important for future achivements, both in terms of concrete investments for peasant /small scale agriculture and on policy level. Contributions from peasants’ organizations, NGOs and different kind of experts are essential to improve this early draft. 

Preliminary comments on the reports

In our views this first draft is very good in some aspects but also presents serious weaknesses. We will later share more comprehensive views, here are just some key issues we want to underline:

  •  It’s very  good  that the draft report underline and give facts about the importance of small scale agriculture; that about 85-90% of all farmers are smallholders, that they produce most of the food in the world, that they themselves by far are the biggest investors in agriculture and that they produce more per area than large scale farmers. The descriptions of the situation for small scale farmers and the main challenges they face are also basically good.

  • The review of experiences and proposals for how to move on are lacking or weak. It’s fine that the document propose processes to develop National Smallholder Vision and Strategic Framework, that the role of markets, lack of credit for small scale farmers etc. is underlined, but there is no real evaluation of what kind of investments and credit schemes which are functioning and not, no concrete proposals for how credit schemes and private investments could be set up to benefit small scale farmers.

  • The report underlines the need for peasants to have a strong organizations and a strong voice, but in stead of giving the small scale farmers a voice and to give their views, lessons learned by the World Bank on building capacity of rural producers organizations are quoted. The figure on Recommendation scheme (page 13) is  very questionable  in the content – in addition to that it is difficult to understand. And why is the term ‘peasant’ is only used a few times?
Contributions can be provided in English, French and Spanish. The V0 draft is only available in English.
Download the V0 draft of the HPLE Report here 
Read more about the process: http://www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-hlpe/en
Click here to engage in the Online consultation 
Last modified January 18th