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Donor in the Dark: Putting a spotlight on UK aid to small-scale farmers

February 25, 2013

The UK is the sixth largest donor to agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. And, this year, the IF campaign is calling on the UK government to increase its annual support for sustainable small-scale food production by £425 million: a fair share of the public spending needed in agricultural and rural development to achieve the ambitious goal of zero hunger by 2025. But what are the UK government's agriculture priorities? What is the impact of the UK's aid to agriculture on those who need it most - small-scale food producers? And, is the current approach the most effective one? With these critical questions in mind, Concern Worldwide - UK, Oxfam GB, and Self Help Africa conducted research into how much of the UK's aid goes to agriculture, particularly small-scale farmers, and the impacts of this aid. We found that it is nearly impossible to know how much aid to agriculture is spent on small-scale farmers, and nearly as difficult to find the impact of the aid on poor farmers. The result is a set of key recommendations to DFID for prioritizing investment in small-scale agriculture and achieving the best value for money through their agricultural aid.

Private Investment in Agriculture: Why it's essential, and what's needed

September 24, 2012

Massive investment in agriculture is desperately needed to help fix the broken food system. Private sector investment can play a vital role in delivering inclusive economic growth, environmental sustainability and poverty reduction. However, in order to do so, it must be adequately regulated and should adhere to some key principles, such as focusing on local food markets, working with producer organisations and respecting the rights of small-scale producers, workers and communities.