Farmer training in the field.
Photo: Y. Kukeawkasem

06.12.2012

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Smallholders need support to develop their farms in an increasingly competitive market environment. Germany’s GIZ has developed a partnership approach enhancing interaction between farmers and receiving hands and providing benefits for smallholders such as better incomes through better farm practice/management and opportunities for farmers to become self-sufficient decision-makers.

With the emerging agricultural market opportunities (increasing prices and demand for sustainability) in developing countries, there is the unique chance, but also the need, to support smallholder agriculture and rural areas as a whole to benefit from this market development. At the same time, it is essential to modernise and optimise smallholder farming systems and to produce more from less, while doing so in an environmentally sustainable, efficient and socially just manner. Acting as a manager, the farmer plays the decisive role in this system. Commercial farming has been promoted by various actors as a key means to improve the livelihoods of smallholders around the globe. Agricultural projects attempt to build capacity by providing or enabling solutions to the target context where, in most cases, smallholders are subject to inferior conditions regarding intrinsic and extrinsic factors in optimising their farming. 

Fully market-oriented and demand-driven project designs use the classic value chains approach as analytic tools, but turn the perspective for implementation around: from consumers, industry and traders to farmers.

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