Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Small farmer market access in Mozambique

Lucy Muchoki's Guardian piece, Investing in agriculture and access to markets will help to feed the world, raises crucial points that will, hopefully, be discussed at the G20 Ag Ministers conference later this week.

This news article from Mozambique highlights the problem of market access at a local level. Farmers in Boane district, Maputo provinces have been working hard to capitalise on increased support to improve their production output. This is exactly the kind of work everyone (almost) is calling for. Small farmers have been widely recognised as being important in a situation of growing food security and soaring prices. Particularly in low income countries. But these farmers face one of the many challenges so often faced by small farmers: how to get their products to market. Market linkages - including affordable and reliable transport that allows farmers to make a profit without increasing transaction costs to the point where everyone else starves - are a fundamental part of making a success of small farming. Increasing the production of food is a part of a larger equation - aid groups and particularly governments looking to make small farming viable and sustainable should also be prepared to invest in facilitating market access for small farmers.

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