Community of Practice:
Markets can be an incredible opportunity for small-scale farmers to increase their income, however they can also be exploitative and incentivize environmental destruction or poor nutrition. This research will evaluate three case studies in Bolivia (peanuts in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba valleys; native potatoes in Cochabamba valleys; and rice in Santa Cruz). Two of the three case studies (concerning peanuts and potatoes) are directly and indirectly related to current CCRP-funded projects. The research will study how different types of markets impact the socio-economic status of farmers, and how we can harness markets to better serve the poor. Understanding this aspect of markets is of great importance to both the Andes CoP, which has markets as one of their thematic areas of focus, as well as the CCRP as a whole since markets are part of all farmers’ livelihoods.
The Regional Team strongly supports this proposal because the resulting research will provide a theoretical framework and case studies on the linkages between small farmers and markets, and the conditions under which the goals of income generation and social inclusion can be achieved while participating in markets. The research will focus on three case studies in Bolivia (peanuts in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba valleys; native potatoes in Cochabamba valleys; and rice in Santa Cruz). Two of the three case studies (concerning peanuts and potatoes) are directly and indirectly related to current CCRP-funded projects. As such, the information derived from the research will be of high interest and immediate relevance for those projects.
The research will include analysis of the state of the art in conceptual approaches to participation, intervention strategies and institutional arrangements that encourage or limit the development of market-led participatory methodologies, as well as, the extent to which these have contributed to the social inclusion of smallholder farmers. It is exciting to see that the research will use and test innovative methodologies.
In addition to contributing to a rigorous understanding of the complex linkages between small farmers and markets, the research will provide a theoretical framework with which we (the RT) will be able to “tie together” conceptually several projects in the Andes CoP that have an explicit market thrust (whether primary or secondary). This includes: CIP’s native potato seed production; FDTA-Valles’ organic peanut production; Ekorural’s canastas; CIRNMA’s Andean crop production; INIAP biopesticide and INIAP Andean grains. The framework will also be a potential relevant contribution to the other CoPs’ and the CCRP’s understanding of the potential role of markets for poverty alleviation, and the conditions that are most effective to tap into them.
Outputs and Outcomes:
- Three case studies in Bolivia (peanuts in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba valleys; native potatoes in Cochabamba valleys; and rice in Santa Cruz). Two of the three case studies (concerning peanuts and potatoes) are directly and indirectly related to current CCRP-funded projects.
- Background and methodology paper with a summary and analysis on the state of art of different approaches for the integration of smallholders in markets and different theories of power in participatory processes.
- At least one space for exchanging experiences and research results with each of the case studies and with government representatives, development agencies, consultants, private service providers, universities, farmer’s organizations, etc.
- Four articles published in peer-reviewed journals.
- A policy brief to influence key public and private decision makers for scaling-up of case study outputs via the above publications, DAPA Program platform, Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) platform, Bolivian government and key stakeholders in the Andean region.