In one of yesterday’s parallel sessions at the second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2), a crucial issue was raised: land access to smallholder farmers. “We are dealing with smallholders but sometimes even with super-smallholders!” one of the participants said.
In the eyes of some participants, the GCARD2 is a very “big” conference. What is said in this forum has the potential for huge impact. In such a conference big, global problems need to be addressed.
Global trading and price volatility, developed countries dumping under-priced products in poorer countries, for one example. Land access and land grabbing, private companies buying arable land on developing countries, for another. How about storage conditions and the losses it causes – up to 40% of production?
Those are the real barriers to lifting smallholders out of poverty.
But it is contradictory that such big and international institutions remain stuck at smallholder’s production level.
Producing is not the problem. In continents like Asia we have seen how these farmers can produce if given the means and the convenient global context for doing so.
If we are not tackling those global issues in the GCARD2 who is going to shine light on them?
Why is nobody talking about them? Serious interest on smallholders should tackle these issues.
Will any of the panelists during the remaining days dare to tackle one of these issues? Or will it be done by CGIAR or the regional fora? I think I will not be the only one waiting anxiously till the closing ceremony.
Blogpost by Myriam Pérez Diaz, one of the GCARD2 social reporters.