As economic reforms in the 1990s shifted land ownership into the hands of private smallholders, family farmers became the predominant source of agricultural production in the region. To address the absence of well-developed institutional support, FAO is implementing a Regional Initiative on Empowering Smallholders and Family Farms for Improved Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction.
While international trade policy is usually implemented at the border, adherence to food safety and quality standards concerns national food safety systems as well as food safety and quality control at the enterprise level. This means that a supportive policy environment for modern agrifood trade encompasses not only border policies, but also policies and institutions at the national and enterprise level.
Stories from the field
The EU-funded MAINLAND project, implemented by FAO, has reached a key milestone with the selection of 12 land consolidation sites in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Small-scale farmers in the country account for roughly 87 percent of the total agricultural production value, but due to unfavorable land structures – the average farm size is below 2 hectares, and the land is highly fragmented – farms are low in agricultural productivity and competitiveness when compared to most European Union member countries.
While the digital revolution is reaching rural areas in many developing countries, the rural digital divide continues to present considerable challenges. The problem is even more acute for women, who face a triple divide: digital, rural, and gender.
A new FAO publication on mainstreaming gender in the use of information and communication technologies, available in English, looks at how men and women in rural areas can harness the benefits of these new technologies.
Food safety and public health authorities in Moldova continue to upgrade their ability to protect consumers from food safety hazards. At a workshop taking place here today, Salmonella and Campylobacter were in the focus, along with the evolution of drug resistance in these bacteria – in some foods and in humans.