Since social protection and smallholder agricultural interventions often cover the same geographic space and target the same households, there are opportunities for synergies and complementarities that strengthen livelihoods of poor rural households.
Social protection policies aim to reduce socio-economic risks, vulnerability, extreme poverty and deprivation, while smallholder agricultural policies focus on improving productivity in crops, fisheries, forestry and livestock and access to markets. Both areas of policy are important elements in poverty reduction strategies, but little attention has been paid to the interaction between them and the implications for design and implementation of related policies and programmes.
Poor rural households that mostly rely on agriculture for their livelihoods are often affected by limited access to resources, low agricultural productivity, poorly functioning markets and repeated exposure to risks. Social protection can help alleviate credit, savings and liquidity constraints by providing cash and in-kind support. In addition, the regularity and predictability of social protection instruments help households to manage risks better and to engage in more profitable livelihood and agricultural activities. Agricultural policies and programmes can help smallholder households manage risk by stimulating farm output, income and overall household welfare.
Brief based on the online discussion, held from 4 to 26 February 2013, facilitated by FAO’s Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum) with FAO’s Forestry Department in the context of the International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition.
Import tariffs and costly import procedures may explain why consumers in the United Republic of Tanzania pay relatively high prices for wheat. Although wheat farmers benefit from higher prices, domestic production has not increased. Indeed, since 2000 domestic wheat production has been able to cover only about 20 per cent of the country’s consumption requirements.
Findings from a recent study conducted by the Monitoring African Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) project suggest that:
Although the government supports cotton farmers by regulating prices, cotton producers in Mozambique receive prices that are lower than international reference prices. Findings from a recent study conducted by the Monitoring African Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) project show that the following measures would improve prices for producers:
- fostering competition along the entire cotton value chain, especially among processing companies (ginners);
- making processing more efficient to increase both the quantity and quality of outputs;
- revising the domestic price fixing system to align producers’ prices with prices in international markets; and
- strengthening the market power of producers, relative to ginners, to improve transparency and equity in cotton market transactions.