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UN agency helps C'bean farmers broaden 'market horizons'

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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UNITED NATIONS (CMC) — The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says it has been helping farmers in Latin America and the Caribbean broaden their market horizons.

“Bolstering participation in international markets by family farmers and small-scale operations is a fundamental step in making sure the region's food systems are inclusive and contribute to adequate nutrition,” said Tania Santiva˝ez, an agricultural and plant protection official at FAO, on Wednesday.

As part of helping small famers in this process, the UN agency said it has been conducting capacity building and technical assistance programs to develop their commercial skills and devise appropriate strategies.

The FAO said greater income has, in turn, allowed farmers to purchase high-quality seeds and fertilizer, and pursue sustainable and environmentally-friendly ways of growing higher-priced organic crops.

The FAO said the results of its efforts and those of its partners were evident at a recent international business conference and trade fair in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where 14 of those who benefited from the capacity-building programs clinched pre-sales contracts worth around US$2 million.

To foster and spread the process, FAO, together with ALADI, an association promoting regional economic integration, has produced a practical guide for small-scale enterprises and family famers interested in exporting their products.

The FAO said the guide aims to provide basic operational blueprints on the goods trade, tips on how to take it across borders and ways to generate sustainable international sales, and tools for selecting appropriate export market targets.




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