Markets, smallholders and empowerment

Markets, smallholders and empowerment

Special issue

Additional tags: Smallholders , Capacity , Markets , Agency

With the global population expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050, there has been growing attention at the highest policy circles to the contribution of small-scale agriculture to food security and poverty eradication. However, the creation of an enabling framework towards this end has been hampered by contradictory approaches and policy ''pendulum swings" alternately on 'rights-based' and 'market-based' support strategies. This issue of aims to refocus attention on the critical but largely neglected issue of producer  agency: that is, the capacity of producers to make informed choices, and to act on those choices.

Drawing on several detailed case studies - contract farming arrangements  that benefit or exploit farmers; guidelines for addressing farm labour  interests; and the role of women on small-scale farms - the journal's  contributors offer practical guidance on how to strike the right balance  between economic and political empowerment.

This issue 44 of draws insights from the Small Producer Agency in Globalized Markets programme. The insights particularly come from a series of ‘Provocation debates’ organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (Hivos) and local partners in European cities in 2010 and 2011. Contributors include Peter Utting, Stephanie Barrientos,Bill Vorley, Carol Gribnau, Olivier De Schutter, Lorenzo Castillo. is published three times a year in English and French. Each issue of the journal focuses on a specific theme and aims to enhance our understanding of core conceptual building blocks as well as practical applications within different development sectors. The journal also identifies emerging issues and encourage debate on the future of the capacity development sector as a whole. You can download the whole issue, articles and other issues on their website.


Changing Mindsets Key messages on Small-producer Agency