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Small farms in transition: How to stimulate inclusive growth?

IAMO Forum 2019
26 - 28 June 2019 | Halle (Saale) | Germany

Farms below two hectares produce one third of the global food supply. Furthermore, these farms form an important element in securing social stability in rural areas of many European and Asian transition economies. The role of small farms as an engine of agricultural growth, a reserve employment source and a social safety net varies depending on a country’s context.

In the poorer countries of the region, these small farms still represent a major element of rural life. However, their future is uncertain due to a low interest in farming of the younger generation and because they are excluded from almost all agricultural policy instruments. Instead of public policies that benefit a broader agricultural population, most governments implement selective measures benefiting medium-size and large farms.

The IAMO Forum 2019 will address important challenges: How and via which channels does a country’s general economic development trickle-down to small farms? What is the role of small farms in agricultural growth in transition economies? How to enable small farms to take part in technological development and access innovations? Which forms of cooperation would be beneficial for these farms and which ones are accepted by them? How can small farms navigate dysfunctional institutional environment and successfully compete with larger counterparts? Which policies increase welfare and are able to benefit small farms and rural households? Finally, which factors explain the large-farm bias of agricultural policies?

The conference focuses on the interlinkages between small farm development as well as agricultural and public policies. The drivers and consequences will be debated from a social sciences perspective, including economics, political sciences, sociology, anthropology and history. 

The following issues with a regional focus on Europe, Central Asia and China will be discussed at the IAMO Forum 2019:

  • Role of small farms for agricultural growth, food security and resilience
  • Public policies promoting competitiveness of small farms and enabling livelihood strategies of rural households
  • Political economy of agricultural and pro-poor public policies
  • Commercialization and smallholder participation in value chains
  • Role of corruption and informality for small farms
  • Interaction between corporate agribusiness and small farms
  • New forms of cooperation in rural areas
  • Allocation of land and tenure security
  • Access to production inputs and finance
  • Role of income diversification and migration in small farm development
  • Role of women in small farm development

Conference language will be English.