Family Farmers, Innovation and Markets

The Project analyzes family farmers` commercial innovations, in order to understand their logic and promote actions to develop and multiply these experiences. Development initiatives, research and dissemination actions are part of the project´s resul

Context of the story

Producers have little capacity to influence at conventional markets. Inside the distribution and marketing chains, family farmers are price takers, so, significant part of their add value is taken by wholesalers and concentrated players. In order to avoid diminishing benefits, family farmers and consumers in Argentina, Bolivia and Spain are organized by alternative networks and channels.
In this context, farmers and consumers in Argentina, Bolivia and Spain organize and create alternative networks. These commercial channels rely on organizational and institutional innovations. Central questions of the project are: How are these markets and do they work? What logic do farmers apply in their construction? How to intervene to empower them?

Analysis of family farmers´ markets. Elements to improve and develop add value locally, fair prices, quality food, sustainability and socio-environmental equity.

The implemented initiative

The aim of project is to understand the commercial innovations generated by farmers and consumers. The project focuses on dimensions like organization, identifying elements to take into account to policies designs and public programs.
The project tries to know these innovations in depth, taking into account the innovation effects to improve the environment, social and cultural conditions. Also, these innovative alternative networks contribute to add value in the local space.
The Project, co-financed by FONTAGRO, is integrated from Argentina: by researchers from INTA and different national universities (La Plata, Misiones and Mar del Plata); from Bolivia: FUNDESNAP, AOPEB and AGRUCO; from Spain: the IEGD and the Bask Country University.

Studies show the importance of horizontal and inclusive governance models, collective organization and articulation, the use of ICT, short channels and conscious consumers, appropriate and specific public policies.

The technological solution

Innovative marketing and value-added experiences implemented by family farmers were studied (14). Qualitative and participatory methodologies were applied. In total, 348 interviews were conducted with producers, consumers and technicians, 16 focus groups and workshops to analyze experiences, 28 observations at fairs and markets. The comparative analysis will allow to identify the common elements that make the innovations sustainable.
Studies show the importance of collective and professionalized practices, the use of ICTs, the efficiency of inclusive territorial governance models and the support of various state agencies, the role of collaborative social networks and the articulation with conscious consumers.

We have the raw material, we are the owners of that material. So, why don´t go into the market? It was our dream. We aim to work with neighborhood organizations. Give a fair price and a good quality to compete at the market!
Argentino Almeida, Yerba Mate Farmer and leader of “Consorcio Esperanza Yerbatera”, Misiones, Argentina, 2018.

Results

Case studies (11) have systematized commercial and value-added innovations. Scientific articles were written (six published, 2 in edition, 1 in evaluation), no scientific articles (2), conference papers (31), technical notes (12), posters (3) and book chapters (2). Participatory workshops to validate results with producers, consumers and technicians (12); participatory video workshops (4), project participatory video manual (1), videos made with family producers (4).
Events: 3 seminars, 2 technical workshops, 7 webinars (1,260 registered, 60% women, 23,000 views), 19 videos, 14 talks, 2 conferences. AF and Markets Postgraduate seminar with 72 students (63% women). Workshop Course on inclusion in the digital market (50 digital stores under construction).
Projects and initiatives developed by the project researchers: (10 research projects, 6 extension, 2 for development). In evaluation there are 6 projects.

Participants in seminars, workshops and webinar
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Participants in seminars, workshops and webinar
Family farming and markets webinars
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Family farming and markets webinars
Realized Studies of commercial innovation  and added value cases
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Realized Studies of commercial innovation and added value cases
Articles, presentations and book chapters
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Articles, presentations and book chapters
Postgraduate students associated with the project (Training and investigation)
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Postgraduate students associated with the project (Training and investigation)
Online shops under construction
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Online shops under construction
Development and investigation projects directed by the project investigators
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Development and investigation projects directed by the project investigators
Methodological design to analyse the commercial innovation experience
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Methodological design to analyse the commercial innovation experience

Series of Innovative Family Farmers´ Markets: La Justa marketer, La Plata (Buenos Aires) Argentine

Pandemic and Family Farmers´Market: La Justa marketer

Pandemic and Family Farmers´Market: La Justa marketer

Participating Organizations

Centro de Investigación Agroecología Universidad Cochabamba (AGRUCO) - Bolivia
Asociacion de Organizaciones de Productores Ecologicos de Bolivia (AOPEB) - Bolivia
Fundación para el Desarrollo del Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (FUNDESNAP) - Bolivia
Instituto de Economía, Geografía y Demografía (IEGD) - España
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina
Universidad Naciona de La Plata (UNLP) - Argentina
Universidad Nacional de Misiones (UNM) - Argentina
Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMDP) - Argentina
La Universidad del País Vasco / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU) - España
Fundación ArgenINTA (ARGENINTA) - Argentina
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Argentina

Main donors

FONTAGRO
FONTAGRO
© FONTAGRO
E-mail: fontagro@fontagro.org