Or, how to take the wicked problems of the world´s rural poor more seriously
Aim blog Over the past few days I have been doing some soul-searching about the meaning of this blog and where it is supposed to lead? Or, if that is impossible to determine: in which direction it should evolve? A few ideas stood out with immediate clarity: (1) it should be about smallholder farming, especially in Africa. That’s because my own experience is mostly with African smallholders. Besides, there are quite a few of them, almost all of them poor; (2) it should be about value chains – local, regional, national, or international – because they are needed to drive change, hopefully for the better; and (3) it should involve systems thinking, because it is hard to see how else the two can be brought together for the benefit of both.
Value proposition Your typical agricultural development project involves some kind of value proposition to the beneficiaries, i.c. the smallholders and their families. Given the desperate situation they are in, the farm families are often quite willing to give the proposition a try, even if there are doubts about its “value”. Besides, trial-and-error is a very common method in any society, even in centrally planned ones. But what is often ignored or overlooked in these development projects is the central importance of the value proposition. Read on ….