Scaling up impact in smallholder agriculture

Scaling up impact in smallholder agriculture

Small farmers, big change: Scaling up impact in smallholder agriculture

Small farmers big change
Edited by David Wilson, Kirsty Wilson and Claire Harvey 
Published by Practical Action publishing 
Website: www.developmentbookshop.com 
2011, 140pp, ISBN 978 1 85339 712 7(Pb), £14.95
Taking agricultural projects from the research or pilot phase to the next level, to achieve substantial gains for a large number of people, is an exciting and often complex challenge. The eight case studies in this collection, compiled through a partnership between Practical Action and Oxfam, demonstrate the central importance of bottom up processes in influencing policy and investment decisions.
For example, until five years ago, the region of Western Honduras was the most isolated and least supported in the country, with no civil society representation at national level. But a ten year programme of building civil society institutions, as well as training and credit support to smallscale farmers, has enabled the area to develop its own Poverty Reduction Strategy, and successfully bid for millions of dollars to implement it. As a result, the contribution of women to household income has doubled, and in five years the percentage of women in the region engaged in agricultural businesses has risen from 1 per cent to 31 per cent.
Other studies in the collection include joint action by fishing communities in India to regain control over pond resources, strengthened links between farmers and city markets in Colombia, and new systems of cooperation by cotton producer groups in Mali. Each study is concisely and clearly presented, pulling out key lessons from the scaling up activities and offering considerable food for thought for development practitioners and policymakers.

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