Capacity Development Portal
Good Practices

Rural livelihoods and food security

  1. Farmer field schools
  2. Micro-gardens
  3. Livelihood Diversification and enterprise development: improving small farmer livelihoods
  4. The Livelihoods Support Programme: Bringing people-centered approaches and livelihoods at work in FAO
  5. Introducing a Livelihoods Approach in Emergencies

Making better business decisions at farm level

What problem did it address, where?

Once production exceeds the needs of the family, or that which can be bartered in the immediate neighbourhood, farmers face a dilemma - how most profitably to sell any surplus. The business side of farm management including distribution and transport, as well as decisions on diversification of production to meet local or national tastes are critical. FAO's farm management services have worked with farmers and extension workers to ensure that the issues are understood and to help farmers manage risks to the extent possible. Throughout Melanesia, farm economics and marketing work has included promoting basic book keeping to help farmers understand pricing strategies if sale of excess subsistence crops (root vegetables, horticultural products) is to make money. It also helps in the key decision of whether the farmer is better to transport product to market themselves or to sell to "middle man" at farm gate (for instance, in Papua New Guinea highlands).


FAO has organised programmes of participative workshops on farm business subjects with input from TCDC consultants on agronomic issues to address pest, water use, and local production techniques (such as lettuces protected from wilting by use of hollowed out local materials) to support production for marketing.

Where next?

Applied in Small Island Developing States but more generally applicable in developing countries looking to encourage local production (and import substitution)

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