Organic agriculture and sustainable rural Livelihoods in developing countries

Organic agriculture and sustainable rural Livelihoods in developing countries

The contributions of ethical trade to sustainable livelihoods

Examines the contribution ethical trade initiatives can make towards the goal of sustainable rural livelihoods. The experience of organic agriculture projects in developing and in-transition countries is the particular focus of this report.

Reviews the practical experience of producers, buyers, NGOs and advisors (in both private or publicly funded projects) and information from from government funded aid programmes. Considers significant characteristics of organic producers, lessons from policy interventions, and the kind of incentives/disincentives to adoption of organic technologies

Concludes that organic projects must be at least as rigorously identified, designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated as any other development project with strong stakeholder participation. The organic context does not make the project immune to the potential problems with project implementation from misidentification of issues, political influences and weak institutional support. Extra emphasis should be placed on human resource and institutional development, recognising that organic farming is knowledge intensive rather than input intensive. [author]

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