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!
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.