Subsistence and smallholder farmers in developing countries face the same problems as farmers in the developed world – pests and diseases, access to markets, access to quality seeds, credit, the best way to process produce etc., but they are more vulnerable and less able to overcome these problems.
CABI crosses the boundary between science and development by ensuring that farmers benefit from the outcomes of research. We’re known for our practical approach, which involves training trainers, engaging with entrepreneurs and using new technologies to deliver development impact on the ground.
CABI’s bibliographic databases provide a record of the state of research in this area, whilst our compendia provide practical guidance for extension workers in the field.
As part of our project work, we train farmers so that they know the latest and best methods for harvesting and processing their crops. This means that the quality of their produce is attractive to the market and fetches a better price. We have also developed computer drop-in centres (telecentres) so farmers can find out what they need to know when they need to know it. In addition, we run plant clinics at local markets, where farmers can come to have a pest or disease diagnosed and receive advice on appropriate ways of managing it. We also use video technology to demonstrate how to produce, select and store crops. In addition, we encourage the private sector to get involved and invest in smallholder farmers.