“While the report reports on smallholder farmers attitudes towards commercialisation, there is little discussion as to whether commercialisation is the best approach to creating sustainable and profitable food systems. Indeed many would disagree with such an approach in part for the fact that perhaps only the more well-off farmers can engage with wider markets. Greater emphasis needs to be given to why certain farmers cannot, due to various constraints, better plan their farm management for the long-term and for the welfare of their household, with or without future commercialisation.” – Can we Feed the World
One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?
In the wake of the 2008 food price crisis, which exacerbated food insecurity and increased smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to shocks and stresses, recognition of the barriers smallholders face in becoming more productive and developing their farms as commercial businesses has been growing. In 2010, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation implemented the Multidisciplinary Fund (MDF) project to help develop policies supportive of smallholder commercialisation in Africa, in particular identifying the heterogeneity amongst smallholders in terms of their attitudes to commercialisation.
A new report, Understanding smallholder farmer attitudes to commercialisation – the case of maize in Kenya, by the FAO, focuses on maize producers and rural youth in Kenya by investigating “attitudes, strategies and opportunities related to maize commercialisation” in Meru and Bungoma regions in the country. The report is based on key informant interview, focus group, farmer survey and stakeholder workshop data.
At present farm management is not undertaken…
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