30 September 2009
Smallholder agriculture was at the centre of a recent online discussion by the IDS-hostedFuture Agricultures Consortium where researchers debated farm scale and the food crisis in light of recent editorials and news stories about land grabs, food prices and the future of smallholder agriculture. The importance of small farming was underscored by a call for rural investment and context-sensitive policy making.
African smallholders say that enhancing farmer voice in strategic R&D processes and investing in innovations to improve market access, soil fertility management, small-scale irrigation and water management, and access to ICTs and credit should have more emphasis in agricultural research for development (AR4D) reform agenda promoted by GCARD. In three national workshops with representatives of nearly 100 smallholder organisations, the Future Agricultures Consortium shows how decisions made in Montpellier in March 2010 can be stronger with true farmer inclusion.