Quan els analistes polítics considerar la necessitat d'augmentar la producció d'aliments per alimentar una població mundial de més de 9 mil milions de persones en 2050, change is usually thought of in terms of large-scale agriculture. According to a recent report by a group of international organizations including the UN, el Banc Mundial i la OMC, Creixement de la productivitat agrícola sostenible i la bretxa de petites explotacions familiars, "Mitja un milions petita família produeixen la majoria dels aliments consumits en els països en desenvolupament i granja sobre 80% de la terra a Àsia i Àfrica, but their productivity is generally lagging.” The world’s population won’t be well fed in 2050 sense una transformació substancial de l'agricultura en les granges.

Mig camí a través de la 89 informe de pàgina en una secció sobre la integració del mercat i increment de la competitivitat, els autors fan una observació crítica, "Això requereix el desenvolupament dels mercats i cadenes de valor agrícola per tal que els agricultors poden participar competitivament, obtenir preus justos per als seus productes, and invest on-farm.” Whether these farmers are feeding people in a village 50 milles fora o una mega-ciutat 500 milles fora, they will need to be part of a competitively priced supply chain that provides them a fair return for their efforts so they can continue to invest in their farms to further increase output. Trade in agricultural products and farm inputs will play an important role in making that happen.

La nota d'autors que sanitaris i fitosanitaris (SPS) regulations exert an ‘overarching influence’ on agricultural trade development. The final product has to be viewed by consumers as safe and nutritious or the value chain has failed to produce something of value. Science-based regulations have been shown to be the most effective and least market distorting. The use of ‘best practice’ based on private voluntary standards and government compulsory regulations in national practices should lead to harmonization towards best international standards. The WTO SPS agreement provides a framework for these new supply chains.

Protecció dels drets de propietat intel·lectual (IPR) és un component fonamental en la creació d'innovacions que augmenten productivitat per satisfer la creixent demanda d'aliments, while also increasing farm profitability. Supply chains will move technological innovations across borders. The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (VIATGES) provides protection for most property rights. One exception is plant varieties which may be protected under the convention of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. Seeds have played a key role in increasing productivity in recent decades and have attracted increased private investments in seeds for further productivity gains.

Relacionada amb aquesta, land tenure systems must also be strengthened. One-to-two billion people live on and use commonly held land to which they have no legal title, which limits their access to credit and insurance and prevents them from investing in environmental management. Secure tenure can double investments on a per acre basis, i els mercats de lloguer ben desenvolupats poden augmentar la productivitat per 60 per cent.

Molts països en desenvolupament han tingut una història d'imposició de l'agricultura i utilitzant els diners per donar suport a les polítiques industrials urbanes, però que va començar a canviar en la dècada de 1990.

That is critical because farmers are the main source of private investment in primary agriculture. Internally generated capital and effective lending programs will reduce problems associated with outside investors, privat i govern, desenvolupament de sistemes de producció agrícola amb poc o cap suport local o control.

These new supply chains will accomplish little without market access in developed and developing countries. Urban population centers, més la meitat de la població mundial ara està classificat com urbà, i mega-ciutats amb poblacions de 5 million or more are natural markets for these new supplies. For food supplies to flow from food surplus areas to deficit areas, senyals de preu de mercat han de coincidir les necessitats dels consumidors amb les capacitats de producció de productors.

Malgrat la seva aposta per un mercat impulsada per l'agricultura, the authors believe the most vulnerable developing countries should have flexibilities in their policies to deal with circumstances that threaten their agriculture. This would mean that these countries would not have incentives to make needed changes and would not be part of the new groups of suppliers that focus on profitability. Change would be constrained, no s'anima.

Els autors també trucar per reduccions en suports domèstics en desenvolupar països, utilitzar menys subsidis d'exportació, strengthening disciplines on export restrictions and expansion of official development assistance. Supply chains in developing countries need to move ahead, not wait for others to reform policies that have been delayed for years. With most national governments in developed countries short on money to fund such efforts, programes de govern no són una alternativa viable a cadenes de subministrament habitatges finançats basant-se en els senyals del mercat de consumidors i la producció sobretot auto-finançat per als agricultors locals.

An overview like this would not be complete without comments about the vexing problems of transportation and storage on the farm and off-farm. In some land-locked countries in Africa, transport pot ser 75 percent of the value of exports. Better transportation is needed to connect small farmers to supply chains and provide incentives to increase productivity. A third of the food produced globally for human consumption each year is wasted or lost some way and 40 percent of the losses in developing countries occur at the post-harvest and processing levels. Reducing these losses should be among the first targets of the new supply chains.

The report makes clear that high-value and market-oriented supply chains are emerging in developing countries. That is good news for consumers and the millions of small farmers who want to increase output to gain better incomes. Some farmers with the least amount of resources and living the furthest from transportation will not survive. The remaining ones will adapt to the changing markets and earn greater incomes. The ultimate questions are who will organize and finance these new supply chains and how big a role will small farmers have in financing and decision making about what to grow and how to grow it.

Ross Korves és analista de política econòmica de veritat sobre comerç i tecnologia