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
As the latest European country to detect cases of African swine fever, Moldova has control over the disease for now, thanks in part to a short, targeted intervention by FAO.
African swine fever is a rapidly spreading transboundary animal disease. Moldova experienced two outbreaks in September 2016, and dealt with both in time to prevent further damage.
Contract farming is one way of coordinating farmers and the agribusiness firms who buy their produce. FAO is promoting contract farming in Georgia under the EU-funded European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD).
A two-day training workshop was held recently in Tbilisi, to discuss basic concepts, planning and implementation issues, legal and regulatory aspects, and case studies of contract farming experiences around the world.
Ensuring that food is safe is a complex task involving many different players. A three-year FAO project to upgrade the food safety capacities of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan held its final workshops in late February.
Funded by the Government of Turkey, "Capacity development in food safety risk management of food processing enterprises and national authorities in the Kyrgyz Republic and Republic of Tajikistan" has been implemented by FAO over the period 2013-2017.