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Conference Issues Paper 1 - Background

Bill Vorley

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Rapid changes are taking place in national and regional agrifood markets in developing countries, with implications for the ability of agriculture to contribute to economic growth, poverty reduction and sustainable rural development. Small-scale agriculture, which supports the livelihoods of the majority of rural poor, is potentially under-prepared for these changes. In recognition of this challenge, an intensive programme (2005-2008) of collaborative research and policy support has been undertaken to understand the keys to inclusion into agrifood systems under different degrees of restructuring, to deepen the research on implications and opportunities for small-scale producers and SMEs, to understand what is best practice in connecting small-scale producers with dynamic markets, and to bring these findings into the wider policy arena. This Conference Background document describes the design of the programme and presents evidence of changes underway, as context for a series of recommendations in the other Issue Papers.

This publication forms part of the Regoverning Markets project.

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