In 2016 and 2018, Ecuador was able to recognize the essential role of family farming and the important link between producer and consumer to achieve resilience, emphasized Andrea Martinez of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. She adds that their strategy is to have a short supply chain (called CIALCO) that has different forms of distribution, but their model is the same: linking family farming (as well as hotels and restaurants) together with consumers. She underlined how, while 81% of farms are managed by women, the average working hours is 37 per week, on top of domestic work. They are now trying to gather more information on what domestic work consists of, which will help to create a more accurate assessment of the actual hours women work on agro-productive activities.
Sudha Khadka, Manager of Helvetas Nepal, explained how the local government is taking initiatives by, for example, providing safety nets to the most vulnerable and returnee migrants through food baskets, free meals, agri-input provisions, transport facilities, and youth- and returnee-focused agriculture.
The government is also raising awareness through local radios and mentorship approaches, especially ensuring that post-Covid food systems are adapted to the local conditions.
Mr. Ovais Zuberi talked about his project taking place in Pakistan (Shazday fruits), which helps farmers from remote mountainous villages to process the food they cultivate and later introduce it to the local and international markets. This project not only improves the lives of communities, but also delivers education programmes about better nutrition and hygiene so that communities stay healthy and thriving.
Oscar Castaneda presented the project that he has been working on in Ecuador. He stated that the biggest challenge needing to be addressed is the fact that, despite the fact that 78% of the food being consumed comes from smallholder farmer systems, these very same farmers do not have access to enough food or nutritious diet. This is what the programme strives to address. To conclude, Castaneda highlighted how important it is to talk to communities and to community participants and develop a network of rural service providers, as well as bring a very clear connection between the people that are producing and those that are consuming.