Study on small-scale family farming in the Near East and North Africa region.
This report (PDF) by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), and The Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM-IAMM) provides an overview of a study conducted in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region in 2015-2016 focusing on the features and characteristics of small-scale family farming. In the six countries under review (Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Mauritania, Sudan and Tunisia) agriculture is carried out primarily by small-scale family farmers. The majority of whom run the risk of falling into the poverty trap largely due to the continuous fragmentation of inherited landholdings. Defining policies to support small-scale family farming by fighting poverty in agricultural households cannot be reduced to intensifying farming or stock-breeding practices. Policies should also focus on: (i) access to resources; (ii) sector organization, in order for a substantial portion of added value to remain with the small-farmers; (iii) collective organization of small-scale family farmers through cooperatives, informal groups and the like, to enable them to access economies of scale for some of their activities and to participate in social and political dialogue. Such policies should also be diversified to include social policies, support for value systems like gender equality and regional development policies. Effective targeting of these area-specific policies requires better information collection on the diversity of small-scale family farms, their sources of income, their performance and the strategies they develop.