Latest Research on Small Farms: Feb – 2020

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Latest Research on Small Farms: Feb – 2020

February 5, 2020 Agricultural Extension ECONOMICS 0

The Future of Small Farms

Interest in agriculture for growth and poverty reduction reawakened within the early 2000s made all the keener by the sudden rise in cereals prices on world markets in 2007–08. But is it still possible to drive agricultural growth through small farms, as happened within the green revolution? Whether small farms have a future was debated at a workshop held in Wye, uk , in June 2005. It concluded that tiny farm development isn’t just desirable for poverty reduction, but also feasible, even in changing circumstances and particularly those of more concentrated supply chains with more demanding buyers. That said, while much that must be done is simple , like provision of public goods, fostering the institutional innovations to permit small farmers to affect the emerging supply chains would require patient work, tailored to specific circumstances. [1]

Commercializing small farms: reducing transaction cost

Broad changes are happening in agrifood systems worldwide. These changes are driven by economic development, increase in per caput incomes, changing technology and urbanization. Consumers are changing their dietary preferences and shopping habits, leading to substantial organizational and institutional changes throughout the food marketing chain. Growing concentration in the least levels is happening , particularly within the retail sector, and personal sector standards for food quality and safety are proliferating. Increasingly exchange is arranged through the utilization of contracts. These changes have significant implications for growth, poverty and food security. For the tiny farmer especially there are difficulties to satisfy the standards and contractual requirements. they’re faced with a replacement set of transaction costs that emerge from handling a food system characterized by different rules, regulations and players. Increased transactions costs deter entry of small farmers into the market. This paper looks at required interventions aimed toward reducing transaction costs to encourage increased farmer participation in competitive markets. [2]

Is there a future for small farms?

Small farms are seriously challenged today in ways in which make their future precarious. Marketing chains are changing and becoming more integrated and more demanding of quality and food safety. this is often creating new opportunities for farmers who can compete and link to those markets, but threatens to go away many others behind. In developing countries, small farmers also face unfair competition from rich country farmers in many of their export and domestic markets. The viability of the many is further undermined by the continuing shrinkage of their average farm size. and therefore the spread of HIV/AIDS is further eroding the amount of productive farm family workers, and leaving many children as orphans with limited knowledge about the way to farm. Left to themselves, these forces will curtail opportunities for little farms, overly favor large farms, and cause a premature and rapid exit of the many small farms, adding to already serious problems of rural poverty and concrete ghettos. If small farmers are to possess a viable future, then there’s a requirement for a concerted effort by governments, NGOs, and therefore the private sector to make a more enabling economic environment for his or her development. [3]

Effects of Fairtrade on the livelihoods of poor rural workers

Workers in rural areas in developing countries often face precarious working conditions, low wages and poverty. Sustainability standards—such as Fairtrade—could potentially improve things . Although many studies have analysed the impact of Fairtrade on smallholder farmers, few specialise in wage workers beyond those employed by large companies despite most workers being employed by small farms and cooperatives. We analyse the effect of Fairtrade on workers’ wages and dealing conditions within the small farm sector. We conducted a survey among workers within the cocoa sector in Cote d’Ivoire and their employers, distinguishing between farm workers and cooperative workers. [4]

A Common Minimum Programme for Biointensive Pest/Disease Management in Small Farms of Uttarakhand (India)

Off season vegetable cultivation plays a singular role within the hill farming system. Being low volume and high value crops, they’re rated to be potential cash earners. With increase in population, farm holdings are becoming smaller and fragmented. Further, the agricultural practices of the farmers are making their crops more susceptible to the attack of diseases and pests. the quantity of profit on small farms is a smaller amount , thus don’t have capacity in touch any amount of losses. Therefore, integration of low-cost proven technology which will sustain a profitable production system holds promise. With this objective, a standard Minimum Programme (CMP) which works through improving soil ecology and includes proven technologies like soil solarization, use of bio-control agents, bio-composting including vermi-composting and value addition of vermi-compost and FYM was designed and implemented at the top of about 6000 farmers in Uttarakhand. [5]


[1] Wiggins, S., Kirsten, J. and Llambí, L., 2010. The future of small farms. World development, 38(10), (Web Link)

[2] Pingali, P., Khwaja, Y. and Meijer, M., 2005. Commercializing small farms: Reducing transaction cost. (Web Link)

[3] Hazell, P.B., 2005. Is there a future for small farms?. Agricultural Economics, 32, (Web Link)

[4] Effects of Fairtrade on the livelihoods of poor rural workers
Eva-Marie Meemken, Jorge Sellare, Christophe N. Kouame & Matin Qaim
Nature Sustainability volume 2, (Web Link)

[5] Kabdwal, B., Tewari, R., Sharma, R. and Kumar, J. (2017) “A Common Minimum Programme for Biointensive Pest/Disease Management in Small Farms of Uttarakhand (India)”, Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 16(3), (Web Link)


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