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Comparative Research

Based on the assessment of research priorities and research proposals from the collaborative research phase, IFAP and AGRINATURA also identified a set overarching issues that will be addressed transversely. The issues selected for research in this process are of strategic importance to IFAP and NFO’s  in the generation of inputs for their participation in national and international consultation processes, e.g. Farmers Forum, UNCTAD, FAO Regional Conferences, OECD Committee on Agriculture, CGIAR, etc. Representatives of these international institutes are taking part in the ESFIM Steering Committee since October 2009. The IFAP Committee on Agricultural Research and the IFAP Secretariat will be closely involved in discussing preliminary outputs of the comparative research component with the researchers. The ESFIM research and policy development action programme will establish coordination and seek complementarities with other relevant international and regional research projects and the current research programmes of the respective AGRINATURA member institutes.

Expected results

National farmers’ organizations will have systematized information on innovative and replicable policies and institutional arrangements that empower smallholder farmers in markets. Based on these outputs, farmers’ organizations can tailor solutions to a set of specific key issues in their institutional environment, based on a collection of insights obtained from other organizations that are facing or have faced the same issues. This oversight will provide a framework for mutual learning on the identified issues. Also the oversight will provide a valuable method for organizing future South-South learning. A first inventory of available research and experiences will be used to discuss findings with the IFAP constituency in 2010. Follow-up in-depth research will lead to the organisation of a international seminar around the topic, where next to AGRINATURA-researchers also researchers from other programs and institutes will be invited. A comparative framework will be used to document key cases and policy initiatives in a ESFIM Working Paper. Based on the findings, implications for advocacy of IFAP and NFOs will be explored and translated in an action plan of a specialized committee within IFAP. Experiences and insight from these programmes will be incorporated into the ESFIM programme through working papers and policy briefs, accessible through the web-site www. esfim.org.

  • ESFIM Working Papers (10-15 pages each) will systemize experiences with farmer-led innovations and/or innovative policies from both developed and developing countries that have empowered smallholder farmers in markets. This will be done with a methodology and conceptual framework that facilitates comparison between countries, and learning on potential up-scaling and replicability of these innovations for other producer organisations working in developing countries. The conclusions and lessons learned will be resumed in an ESFIM Research Brief. The complete papers will be downloadable from the IFAP and/or ESFIM website.
  • ESFIM Research Briefs (2-4 pages each) will reflect in a farmer friendly wording past and ongoing research activities in ECART institutes and its networks, related with specific issues that influence smallholder market access. IFAP will define a format for these briefs adapted to the information needs in their constituency (especially of those form developing countries).
  • The ESFIM Web-site will provide access to a series of information tools derived from the working papers and policy briefs, reducing the complexity of the information for a wider audience. These information and communication tools will be designed to ensure that the lessons learned and best practices are effectively taken on board by the farmers. Depending on the specific target group, these tools might range from practical guidelines in print format to radio packs, video programmes or e-forum.