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Re: HLPE consultation on the V0 draft of the Report: Investing in smallholder agriculture for food and nutrition security

Calvin Miller Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Italy
14.01.2013
Calvin Miller

I agree the document is a useful report. There could be some more on the issue of small farmer overall competitiveness which goes beyond their lack of natural and financial resources, the less developed and often less reliable farmer groups and organizations and lack of economies of scale for both better market access and feasibility of investing in better technologies. It is then combination of factors that collectively pull them down.

I thought that in the point 3 and to some extent point 5 of the Summary and in the corresponding document text there is an over-appreciation of the status of farmer organizations. They have many problems of governance, of internal and external politics, etc. that seriously weaken many of them. It is not just that the world is "stacked" against them, which can be but is often not the case. I do agree with the point in 5 about inclusion.

I am not sure about the 2 hectare definition since it is not valid for some many places and does not address herders, mountain communities, etc.

Overall the other messages of the document are consistent with the information.

I look forward to further work in moving this from document into action.

Calvin Miller, Senior Officer Agribusiness and Finance, FAO