Innovative markets for sustainable agriculture: How innovations in market institutions encourage sustainable agriculture in developing countries
Through a competitive selection process, 15 cases from around the world provide insights into how small-scale initiatives that use sustainable production practices are supported by market demand, and create innovations in the institutions that govern sustainable practices and market exchanges. These cases respond to both local and distant consumers’ concerns about the quality of the food that they eat.
Between 2013 and 2015, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) undertook a survey of innovative approaches that enable markets to act as incentives in the transition towards sustainable agriculture in developing countries. The book evidences that the initiatives rely upon social values (e.g. trustworthiness, health [nutrition and food safety], food sovereignty, promotion of youth and rural development, farmer and community livelihoods) to adapt sustainable practices to local contexts, while creating new market outlets for food products. The results are: (i) system innovations that allow new rules for marketing and assuring the sustainable qualities of products; (ii) new forms of organization that permit actors to play multiple roles in the food system (e.g. farmer and auditor, farmer and researcher, consumer and auditor, consumer and intermediary); (iii) new forms of market exchange, such as box schemes, university kiosks, public procurement or systems of seed exchanges; and (iv) new technologies for sustainable agriculture (e.g. effective micro-organisms, biopesticides and soil analysis techniques).