Strengthening the people’s markets

Markets are an integral part of the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and other food producers in the global South. Local ‘informal’ markets are the basis of the food webs that feed most people on the planet and many farmers are keen to be able to supply growing urban markets in nearby cities and other regions of their country, or indeed to trade with neighbouring countries. 

Yet too often policy conversations about support for small-scale farmers assume the only market is the global market, dominated by transnational agribusiness. Local markets are often invisible to policy makers. 

Instead of talking about connecting small-scale farmers to international agribusiness, where they are likely to be locked in to unequal and exploitative power relationships, it is important to look instead at supporting and strengthening the ‘people’s markets’ which can work to benefit small-scale farmers and local communities. 

This session will hear about efforts to change the conversation about markets in UN policy discussions and case studies of supporting the people’s markets on the ground. 

Andrea Ferrante (Italian Association for Organic Agriculture, AIAB) 
Georgina McAllister (GardenAfrica)


Audio recording:




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