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Plateforme des connaissances sur l'agroécologie

Structuring Markets for Resilient Farming Systems

Diversified farms have received considerable attention for their potential to contribute to environmentally sustainable, resilient,
and socially just food systems. In response, some governments are building new forms of public support for social-ecological
services through the creation of mediated markets, such as targeted public food procurement programs. Here, we examine the
relationship between farmer participation in Brazil’s National School Feeding Program and farm diversification and household
autonomy, as key indicators of farm household resilience. We hypothesized that two key features of the food procurement
program—structured demand for diversified food products, and a price premium for certified organic and agroecological
production—would increase farm-level agrobiodiversity and the use of agroecological practices. We designed a comparative
study between family farmers who do, and do not, participate in Brazil’s National School Feeding Program in the plateau region
of Santa Catarina in Southern Brazil. We used semi-structured surveys to collect data on farm agrobiodiversity, management
practices, and farm household autonomy, and we conducted land use history assessments. Here, we suggest for the first time that
the National School Feeding Program played a role in driving the following: (1) transitions on family farms from low
agrobiodiversity, input-intensive farming systems to diversified farming systems (i.e., horticultural production) and (2) a significant
increase in the cropped area under diversified farming systems. This transition was supported by making horticultural
production an economically viable alternative to field crops typically linked to volatile, unpredictable markets. The convergence
of public policies supporting mediated markets, increased farm household autonomy, and farm diversification represents an
integrated mechanism with the potential to enhance food system resilience.

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Année: 2019
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Pays: Brazil
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Langue: English
Author: Vivian Valencia, Hannah Wittman, Jennifer Blesh ,
Type: Article
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