482 | IAASTD Global Report

Saharan Africa the figures are 327 and 1.4%, respectively. As long as the global treadmill is operating, even with all OECD subsidies removed, efforts to uplift rural poverty will remain severely handicapped and it will continue to be difficult to enlist the vast arable lands in developing countries that are now underperforming and degrading for purposes of global food security. In these circumstances, to continue with a technology-supply push conception of innovation seems inappropriate. The rural poor are not on the global treadmill; instead the global treadmill prevents them from development. Required are institutional framework conditions that provide realistic opportunities to subsistence farmers to become small-scale commercial farmers.

     In imperfect markets the benefits are uneven and do not always reach the poor. Policy responses of proven historical efficacy to addressing unevenness in competitiveness and opportunity include institutional framework conditions within which AKST can play a more positive role, i.e., by stimulating targeted investment in creating small farmers' access to market opportunities, inputs, alternative employment and to creating value-adding enterprises and by temporary market protection to infant agro-industries. The contemporary and future challenge is to achieve positive policy outcomes in ways that internalize the environmental and social costs as well.

7.5.2 Brokered long-term contractual arrangements

Brokered long-term contractual arrangements (BLCA; a term used here to designate a suite of modern contractual arrangements) have proven effective in improving the livelihoods of poor farmers and fostering rural innovation (see Box 7-2) (Little and Watts, 1994; Key and Runsten, 1999). However, the set of conditions required for this policy option to be attractive are rather restrictive. BLCAs were initiated to use the good aspects of state trading enterprises (STEs) because STEs proved sensitive to corruption, rent seeking, gender discrimination and externalization of costs to farmers (Hobart, 1994; Dorward et al., 1998). A major challenge facing expanded use of BLCAs as a policy option is to avoid repetition of the historical record that provides ample evidence of the misuse and abuse of nationalized BLCA-like (STE) schemes.

      BLCAs, under favorable social conditions with transparency and strong farmer organization, provide a policy option for public sectors to invest in the creation of opportunities for poor farmers. Synergies between long term contractual arrangements and the organic and fair trade markets increase when such types of contractual arrangements are coupled with group certification of small-scale organic producers. Policy options include retooling abolished STEs and creating legal, financial and technical support for emerging new BLCAs that are pro-poor.

7.5.3 Endogenous development and traditional knowledge

Endogenous development draws mainly on locally available resources, local knowledge, culture and leadership, with an openness that allows for integration of outside knowledge and practices (Haverkort et al., 2002; Millar, 2005).

     Traditional knowledge can be effective and reliable (Brammer, 1980; Warren et al. 1991; Reij et al., 1996; Brammer, 2000; Balasubramanian and Devi, 2005) with respect


Box 7-2. Pineapple export in Ghana.

Ghana traditionally exported Cayenne pineapples. But since 2002, international demand has shifted to the extra sweet MD2 variety with quite dramatic consequences for Ghana's exporters and small-scale producers. Many of the latter quit production altogether, while the former faced loss of their market contracts in Europe unless they could change to MD2. That was no sinecure. An acre requires 22,000 suckers and some of the larger exporters grow hundreds of hectares. Initially tissue culture material from Latin America was imported, but this proved expensive and some mishaps occurred. Then BOMARTS Farms Ltd (about 400 ha pineapple), faced with termination of its contract, decided to set up a commercial tissue culture lab with assistance from scientists of the Department of Botany at the University of Ghana. Millions of plantlets were produced, some of which were sold to commercial producers who in turn could provide their out-growers. MD2 makes many suckers per plant, so that farmers themselves can quickly multiply the variety. At the time, most small-scale producers were not ready to spend money on buying plantlets. The Government stepped in to save Ghana's second largest export crop and contracted BOMARTS to produce over a two-year period 4.8 million plantlets at cost (3 eurocents per plantlet). Twice a week, the Ministry of Agriculture collects 44,000 plantlets and distributes them to farmers through Sea Freight Pineapple Exporters Ghana (SPEG) and Horticultural Association of Ghana (HAG) on credit at a tenth of the price. BOMARTS itself has few out-growers and largely exports its own produce.

      At the other extreme are exporters who have no farm operations themselves. The typical setup is a mix with out-growers making a substantial contribution to the consignment of the exporter. Exporting companies make detailed contracts with out-growers, providing inputs on credit, specifying the times of planting, force flowering (uniformity) and harvesting, so that the company has a steady supply. Around harvesting time, the company will inspect and spray the crop and it harvests and transports the fruits. Companies exert very strict quality control (e.g., water content). The sanctions are high: costs of destruction of a rejected assignment in Europe are deducted by importers. Farmers whose crop is rejected have to sell in the local market, often below cost price. At the time of writing, Ghana's pineapple exports are getting back on track and the number of small farmers growing MD2 is rapidly expanding. For many, pineapple is their main source of monetary income.

Source: E. Acheampong.

to: (1) knowledge about the agroecosystem and seasonality in which the farmers operate; (2) information about what local people need, want and have capacity for in terms of resources, access to markets; (3) locally adapted technical knowledge and practices and (4) a system view based on having to live by the results.