Thursday, 4 March 2010

The pro business approach to agricultural development

Interview with professor Michel Petit (ex World Bank) (Mediterranean Agronomic Institute /Institut Agronomique Méditerranéen de Montpellier: CIHEAM-IAMM) at the Foresight meeting held at CTA following the presentation of the main findings of the World Development Report 2008 on Agricultural development.

The main challenge is to involve small scale agriculture.But past attempts have been disappointing. India and China show that there has been rapid development based on small scale farmers. The functioning of those smallholders in India and China is fairly clear. But we don't know enough about the environment in which small scale farmers operate in Africa. Access to land is f.i. a big issue. Unlike China the family farming in Africa may not be very significant. We have to take into account the extreme diversity of situations.

The research agenda needs therefore to have a better understanding of this reality. Professor Michel Petit mentions the example of Fondation Farm which adopt the pro business approach to agricultural development: the emergence of small rural businesses, small cooperatives, etc.

FARM draws on studies and applied research projects to generate and disseminate diagnostic tools and analysis. Acting as a clearinghouse for information and training FARM facilitates the dissemination of information and training in order that professionals and FARM’s partners have quick and easy access to economic and technical information.