Policy Brief on Synthesis Report III. Rural and Agrifood Systems in Transforming Economies in Africa and AsiaDOWNLOAD FILE
A common set of drivers is generating broadly similar patterns of agrifood system transformation across the developing world and generating a rapidly changing mix of risks and rewards for farmers, entrepreneurs, consumers, and policy makers. There is much good news in these developments. Yet smallholder farmers and small- and medium enterprises need to learn new skills and behaviors if they are to prosper, consumers need new knowledge and understanding to make choices that result in safe and healthy diets, and policy makers need to decide how to deal with big new challenges even as old ones continue to demand their attention.
The Food Security Policy (FSP) Innovation Lab conducted two streams of research organized around transforming agrifood systems in Africa and Asia. The “upstream team” focused on issues of structural change and transformation at farm level, and moved downstream into selected assessments of the impacts of these changes on the trading sector and on employment opportunities beyond the farm. The “downstream team” started with a focus on diet change in Africa and Asia, moved upstream into implications for agribusiness small-medium-enterprise (SME) growth and behavior in the midstream, and considered also implications for nutrition. Though starting at different points, these two teams converged FSP on a highly complementary and largely consistent “story” about the promises and challenges facing smallholder farmers, small entrepreneurs, and consumers in this rapidly changing environment. This report tells that story, and lays out a policy and programmatic agenda, based on what we have learned.