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Developing a Medicinal Plant Value Chain: Lessons from an Initiative to Cultivate Kutki (Picrorhiza Kurrooa) in Northern India






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    The role of women producer organizations in agricultural value chains - practical lessons from Africa and India 2011
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    Inducing institutional and organizational change to foster greater economic opportunities forsmall holders is often best achieved by enabling stakeholders to directly confront and comparealternative models of development operating within socio-economic and political environmentsdifferent from their own. It is this basic premise that motivated FAO to initiate an Exposure andExchange Programme (EEP): to enable selected women farmers’ organizations from West andCentral Africa and India’s SEWA (Self -Employed Women Association) to exchange and learn from their experiences. The week-long EEP, held in November 2010 and hosted by SEWA in Ahmedabad, state of Gujarat, India, provided an arena to showcase the SEWA development model in action and for African and Indian women leaders to hold group discussions and exchanges on the roles of small holders in markets. The discussions and exchanges enabled the FAO facilitating team to identify and formulate a number of important insights and lessonsabou t capacity building. This report critically evaluates the SEWA model and draws conclusionsrelevant to African women producers organizations to better meet the challenges of raising Africa’s agricultural potential, improve incomes for small farmers, and ensure greater food security.
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    Nutritional Deficiencies as Driver for Agriculture Value Chain Development: Lessons from the Field 2013
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    The search for effective ways to link agricultural resources to resolve nutritional problems has been an on and off challenge for more than 4 decades. Despite the impressive surge in effort over the past few years the fact remains genuine integration at all levels is very challenging. Why? If our collective challenge is to solve specific diet-related deficiencies, effectively communicating that challenge is the clear starting point so that barriers to change are broken and awareness and demand f or change is created. If approached in this way it comes down to a demand/ supply challenge. My straight forward approach to managing field projects has followed this simple point. Starting with the specific maternal/child nutritional gap and/or illness in zone of influence the staff explored how that problem (demand) could actually be addressed when viewed as a driver for agricultural supply chain upgrading. In other words, diet-related problems like the underconsumption of certain foods contai ning micronutrients (e.g. iron or carotene); diseases (e.g. diarrhea) or food safety issues (e.g. aflotoxin) can be prompts for adding value to crops that can in turn contribute to the solution. This represents a counter-intuitive response to most of status quo thinking about “nutrition” interventions. When viewed this way the key interventions from the technical support areas comprising agriculture, nutrition, health, business and cross-cut areas including gender and environmental resilience be come contextual, strategic and clear for all. Nexus points are identified, messages are designed jointly and are mutually enforcing. Field activities are no longer implemented in isolation and at cross purposes. This paper presents actual field experiences where using nutrition as the driver for all sizes of agricultural value chain activities does result in lasting change. The policy implications of this approach are also discussed.
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    Project
    Small-Scale Bioenergy Initiatives: brief description and preliminary lessons on livelihood impacts from case studies in Asia, Latin America and Africa 2009
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    This report is based on a series of 15 international case studies conducted between September and November 2008 under a joint initiative of FAO and the PISCES Energy Research Programme Consortium funded by DFID. The case studies focussed on developing an improved understanding of the linkages between Livelihoods and Small- Scale Bioenergy Initiatives. The study was developed in consultation with the PISCES Consortium Advisory Group (CAG). This is made up of leading international partic ipants in the field of energy and development, including members from the IEA, UNEP, ENERGIA, DFID and FAO, as well as policymakers and research organisations in the PISCES target countries of India, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

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