European E-consultation: Final reports are out

The final synthesis if the European consultation is now available.  The document includes the results of different steps of the consultation process: The regional review, the summary of the European e-consultation and the face-to-face meeting.

All those docuements are available at the GFAR Web site


One thought on “European E-consultation: Final reports are out

  1. Sorry but I just recently heard of this forum and would like to contribute and then sign up for future posting. As it is late I may also do some cross posting. I will try and make this brief by using links to some pages on the http://www.smallholderagriculture.com website I manage. The CGIAR system has made some tremendous contribution particularly in getting improved genetic material available in developing countries. I think in many country the budget limitations for host countries, particularly in Africa, has resulted in virtually all the variety improvement work is being done as part of the CGIAR IARC’s outreach programs. I am not certain how effectively this is getting into host country seed multiplication and distribution. http://lamar.colostate.edu/~rtinsley/VarietyImprovement.htm.
    However, the biggest concern the CGIAR centers and the rest of the development community may need to look at is the basic premise upon which the development effort has been based for the past forty years. That is to see if the concept that farmers are risk adverse and can be assisted with the resources already available on farm should be replaced with an understanding that they are more restricted by limitations on the means to manage their lands and utilize the technology already available. The risk adverse was set forth at the beginning of the farming systems research effort as only a supposition that has become deeply entrenched in the development process, but has never been substantiated. http://lamar.colostate.edu/~rtinsley/BasicPremise.htm. This also gets at one of the basic shortcoming of agronomic small plot field trials. They do excellent job of determining what the agronomic potential is, but to nothing to evaluate if the farmers have the resources to extent that to their entire farms, or how long it will take to complete a task like basic land preparation with the resources available. This actually appears as an administrative void in the development process. Who is responsible to determining if there is enough labor, draft animals, tractors etc. within a community to complete an agronomic task in the desired time frame? Isn’t it just assumed to be available? This can then tie into a major concern for the calorie energy balance of our beneficiaries in that they are fortunate to have access to 2000 calories a day, when they need 5000 if they are expected to do full day of diligent field work. http://lamar.colostate.edu/~rtinsley/CalorieEnergyBalance.htm. The 2000 calories represent the basic requirement of an office worker and allows no energy for doing field work. Please someone urgently take a look at this. I am not certain but it might be possible to extrapolate the issue and make a case for development projects, however inadvertently, being guilty of at least conspiring for the genocide of smallholders by expecting them to exert more energy than they have access to. That could be referred to the tribunal in The Hague as a crime against humanity. Please think about it!!
    The other major concern that needs to be looked at is there appears a much greater commitment on the part of the development community, primarily at the insistence of the donors, to the farmer organizations or cooperatives as the mechanism to funnel assistance to the smallholders. This mechanism while socially ideal is just administratively too cumbersome to be competitive with the competing private traders in an economy that already severely restrict private profits. http://lamar.colostate.edu/~rtinsley/Cooperatives.htm. They actually persist through and mechanism of deceptive bordering on dishonest reporting, mostly by overlooking the overhead costs or worse allocating the overhead costs to a financial benefit to the members. http://lamar.colostate.edu/~rtinsley/DeceptiveReporting.htm. All of this really reduces the smallholder producers to being little more than pawns in the continuation of the great game describe by Rudyard Kipling in Kim some 100 years ago.
    Please accept my apologies if some of these comments including those on the linked web pages are provocative. I just hope that stimulates the desired more in-depth thinking on the issues.

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