Sistemas de investigación y extensión

FAO e-conference explores contribution of small farms to food security and nutrition (10-23 October 2016)

10 Oct 2016

FAO’s Research and Extension Unit is organizing a moderated e-mail conference from 10 to 23 October 2016 entitled “Exploring the contribution of small farms to achieving food security and improved nutrition”. 

The Research and Extension Unit is hosting this e-mail conference as part of its contributions to an EU-funded Horizon 2020 research project on "Small Farms, Small Food Businesses and Sustainable Food Security” (SALSA). In this 4-year project, which began in April 2016, FAO is collaborating with 16 European and African partners to develop a better understanding of the current and potential contribution of small farms and small food businesses to sustainable food and nutrition security in an increasingly globalised and uncertain world.

The e-mail conference will allow participants from around the world to share and discuss their experiences, lessons learned and perspectives on the contribution of small farms to food security and nutrition. The kinds of issues to be discussed will include, inter alia, the characterization of small farms; the current (and future) contribution of small farms to the different dimensions of food security; and the best approaches for researchers to use to evaluate the contribution of small farms to food security.

Background Document

The background document (110 KB) for the conference was published on 7 October. The 9-page document provides some background information regarding food security and nutrition and small farms and it also describes the questions that participants should address in the e-mail conference.

Summary Document

The summary document (90 KB) for the conference was published on 11 November 2016. The 10-page document presents the moderator's summary of the main issues that were discussed during the conference. Topics discussed in the conference included how to define small farms (e.g. what criteria, such as number of hectares or economic output, and thresholds to use); how to analyse the contribution of small farms to food security and nutrition (FSN) using a food systems approach; how important small farms are for FSN, and why; whether participation of small farmers in the rural non-farm economy increases the contribution of small farms to FSN; and the contribution of small farms to the environmental dimension of sustainability.

The conference ran from Monday 10 October to Sunday 23 October 2016. There were 462 subscribers and 59 of them (i.e. 13%) submitted at least one message. Of the 99 messages that were posted, 31% came from people living in Africa; 28% from Europe; 22% from Asia; 9% from Latin America and the Caribbean; 8% from North America and 1% from Oceania. The majority of messages (63%) were posted by people living in developing countries.The messages came from people living in 29 different countries. The greatest number came from people living in India (15 messages), Nigeria (9), Mexico (7), Ghana (6) followed by Cameroon, Pakistan, Poland and the United Kingdom (all 5 each) and by Canada, Portugal, Spain, Uganda and the United States of America (all 4 each).

All the messages posted during the conference can be viewed individually at https://listserv.fao.org/cgi-bin/wa?A0=Small-farms-L 

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