The new UNDP Farmer Support Tool, a guidance note to improve the lives of commodity producers and their communities, while protecting high value forest and important vulnerable ecosystems, is launched on Earth Day.

 

"We need multi-stakeholder collaboration not only at the highest inter-organisation level to achieve systemic change, but also to use these proven techniques on the ground, strengthening farmer support systems and effectively reinventing them for the 2030 Goals.”

Haoliang Xu, Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Administrator and Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, Global Policy Network, UNDP.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic will have an enormous impact on food and agriculture, and we cannot expect to carry on as before once the crisis is over. Global food security and the livelihoods of millions of people are at risk from this pandemic, particularly in vulnerable communities already grappling with hunger or other crises. Small-scale farmers, pastoralists and fishers could be hindered from working their land, caring for their livestock, or fishing - and will certainly face challenges accessing markets to sell their products or buy essential inputs, and struggle with higher food prices and limited purchasing power.

We risk a looming food crisis, unless measures are taken fast to protect the most vulnerable, keep global food supply chains alive and mitigate the pandemic’s impacts across the food system. But this outbreak is only making even more evident a crisis that has been with us for a long time. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of International Earth Day, UNDP is today launching a new way of helping farmers: Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration for Systemic Change: A New Approach to Strengthening Farmer Support Systems, a guidance note which encourages and guides governments to develop new partnerships, enable innovation and strengthen financing for farmer support systems for sustainable commodity production.

UNDP helps developing economies around the world accelerate their progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. A key part of this is supporting the systemic transformation of agricultural commodity sectors, which are a vital economic driver for many of these economies. Farmer support systems – a key part of these sectors - are often weak, operating with top-down mechanisms that do not meet the needs on the ground. UNDP is working with governments to transform this, supporting smallholder farmers within commodity supply chains in a systemic fashion, changing the dynamic by bringing stakeholders to work together to create meaningful change. Multi-stakeholder collaboration for systemic change, the UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme’s modus operandi, becomes of great importance in this context.

The document, which also includes a practical Diagnosis Scorecard, provides guidance to sustainable commodity production practitioners from government, civil society and private sector on how to collaboratively assess and strengthen farmer support systems in order to achieve the broader goal of improving livelihoods and protecting vulnerable ecosystems. This focus and guidance is a major part of UNDP’s Strategic Plan and draws on 10 years of UNDP addressing the sustainability challenges of highly traded commodities.

UNDP Assistant Secretary General Haoliang Xu commented, "UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme seeks to be at the forefront of developing Multistakeholder Collaboration for Systemic Change. This is the first time we have applied these principles to a core activity such as farmer support, and I look forward to seeing the first successful examples emerge.

 

 

Related content

Guidance to sustainable commodity production practitioners on how to collaboratively assess and strengthen farmer support systems.

Launching the Value Beyond Value Chains: Guidance Note for the Private Sector, Version 1.0 for consultation and development.