While majority of family farmers produce food primarily for home consumption, yet they struggle to market the little surpluses that they have. There aren’t any niche markets for agroecological produce. In the absence of facilities for storage facilities and capacities to add value, farmers are forced to sell their produce in the local markets with low returns. Specialised (organic) and distant markets insist on value addition and certification, that are beyond the affordability of a small farmer.
While food produced following an agroecological approach is safe and sustainable, it is necessary that it also forms basis for farmers economic prosperity. Many farmers are already reaping the benefits of collectivisation, either as informal groups or as a Farmer Producer Organisation. They are showing that it is important to build the quality of the produce right from the production level, adopting environmentally safe practices, getting together to further add value by grading or branding and gaining by collectively marketing. We have included some experiences in this issue.
6 Collective marketing – One step towards adding value
Naveen Kumar Shukla and Kamlesh Gururani
10 Innovative value chain ensures sustainable livelihood
Kulaswami Jagannath Jena
17 Enhancing value by improving quality
28 Creating better opportunities – PGS and Analog Forestry
Eduardo Aguilar and Cavan Gates
33 Power of collectives
Jasbir Sandhu and Rajesh Sharma