Improving the positive impacts of investments on smallholder livelihoods and the landscapes they live in

Improving the positive impacts of investments on smallholder livelihoods and the landscapes they live in

the Netherlands - 26 June, 2017

More than three quarters of the world’s food is produced by smallholder farmers, who are also guardians of the landscapes they live in, and live off. And they could produce much more, if only they could attract additional investment…

A new working paper “Improving the positive impacts of investments on smallholder livelihoods and the landscapes they live in“ shows how, and as succinctly as possible. Aimed primarily at investors, in just 15 pages it highlights how to work profitably and equitably with smallholders, and how to promote better land governance and livelihoods.

International guidelines show the bottom line, and case studies provide solid and evidence-based examples of projects, business models and investment funds that are implementing or financing alternative and innovative land related business models with smallholders and local communities. Core guidance then outline how alternative and innovative land related activities with smallholder farmers and local communities can be successful, and have positive social and environmental impacts.

International guidelines do no harm, while case studies provide key design features of projects, business models and investment funds that do good by implementing or financing alternative and innovative business models that strengthen smallholder and community ownership.

This working paper is the result of a two-year exploration of alternative tenure arrangements and inclusive business models, focusing on improving smallholder livelihoods and tenure security, undertaken by Tropenbos International, FMO – the Dutch Development Bank, Hivos International, and KIT – the Royal Tropical Institute. It is still a ‘work in progress, however, and this ‘version 1.0’ is also being discussed with members of the Land Governance Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue, where the Dutch government, the private sector, NGOs and civil society work together to find solutions that promote inclusive land governance.

An objective of this paper is to stimulate debate on how to improve positive impacts from investments on smallholder livelihoods and to move from ‘do no harm’ risk mitigation approach towards a ‘do good’ impact approach. Your observations and comments are not only invited but are encouraged, and they will be included in the discussions on a seminar on the topic, being planned for 14 September 2017.

Photo credit: Opmeer Reports 

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