A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
By supporting small-scale agricultural producers, policy makers in governments and donor agencies can help some of the poorest people in the world to improve their livelihoods.
Unfortunately, evidence suggests that most donor and government policies are currently biased towards large-scale agriculture at the expense of small-scale producers, women, and rural communities.
This briefing note draws on recent Oxfam research to describe specific examples of how policy makers can govern markets and incentivise commercial investment in agriculture that includes small-scale producers.
Policy recommendations focus on three key principles:
- Giving small-scale producers, particularly women, power in markets and in politics;
- Protecting basic rights;
- Supporting inclusive markets.