This core initiative will put food producers at the center and increase understanding of the adoption barriers they face when transitioning to more sustainable production practices. It will improve coordination of incentives to help overcome them, across agriculture and food sectors, and between public and private partners. Through this, producers will be able to manage their activity in a more integrated manner, addressing conservation goals, while improving productivity and income.

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Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Latin America / Caribbean

Sectors of activity
Agricultural and Fishery, Environmental Services, Water, Consumer Goods, Culture and recreation, Financial Sector

Type of initiative
Financial Instruments & Investments, Policy Frameworks & Tools

Start date
04/10/2017

Objectives

Farmers face barriers towards adopting sustainable agricultural practices. To overcome these barriers agriculture producers need incentives such as funds for initial investments in improved technologies, labour availability or knowledge about what are the most appropriate practices for certain conditions, or market opportunities for sustainable products. These incentives can be found in multiple policy-driven public programmes and in many private sector initiatives- this initiative will map these potential funding sources, and discuss how these can be better coordinated to offer farmers an integrated solution for their business.

We will look at how existing policies, ranging from those supporting conservation to those assisting with productivity enhancements, and market-led incentives can be employed to ensure that the food producers remain a motivated and robust force for good in our ecosystems and food systems in the future.

Activities

This will be done through:

1) identifying and analyzing the barriers farmers face in adopting sustainable production practices

2) mapping the different types and combination of incentives provided by public programs, civil society initiatives and private sector investments,

3) analyzing how an enabling environment can be fostered across political/public sector, private sector involvement, role of civil society and consumers, to better coordinate existing incentives across sectors and develop policy recommendations to support the implementation of such an enabling environment,

4) developing an overview of how the impact of such incentives on SFS can be measured and assessed, and

5) validating our results/assumptions in selected countries with an interest and a suitable degree of readiness to work in this integrated way.

Impact and Results

While the project focuses on the production side, it will also assess how food producers’ perspectives towards adopting sustainable practices are influenced by those of others along the value chain: from agribusiness, to bulk buyers, food companies, retailers, and, ultimately, consumers. The goal will be to better understand the signals running across the value chain and identify where better information on environmental and nutritional impacts needs to be conveyed to support a true enabling environment for SFS with regard to reducing impacts of production systems on ecosystems and in particular biodiversity.

Next steps and how to get involved

We are organizing a regional workshop to discuss these issues in relation to sustainable rice cultivation and other major crops in Asia.

The event will take place in May 2019, in Vietnam, together with the FAO Regional consultation on Biodiversity Mainstreaming. During the 1st Global Sustainable Rice Conference in October 2017, SRP and FAO co-moderated a day-long session focusing on this Core Initiative and identified regional partners interested in exploring these issues in the regional meeting. This will continue now during the SRP 8th Plenary Meeting and General Assembly, 22-24 January 2019, Siem Reap, Cambodia, where both FAO teams will contribute to a session on approaches to promote landscape-level sustainability and climate resilience for rice-based landscapes. During the meeting, case studies from the region will be identified to be developed for the May 2019 event.

Case studies will show how agricultural producers are being assisted to transition to more sustainable production practices that reduce impact on biodiversity through the provision of a combination of policy and incentives. This will respond directly to the CBD decision on Mainstreaming biodiversity through a better mix of regulatory and incentive measures CBD/COP/ DEC/XIII/3; 32.

Findings from this regional event will inform the regional roadmap for the implementation of the FAO Biodiversity Strategy and the ongoing project design for the GEF7 programme Sustainable Food Systems.

Partners interested in exploring this approach in their work, are welcome to join the organization of the event. Please contact Bernardete.Neves@FAO.org