The challenge of food security, value chains and delivery of benefits for smallholder farmers in southeast Asia part 1
The challenge for the smallholder farmers and value chain participants in southeast Asia will be to reduce the impacts of diminishing resources, climate variability and environmental degradation and at the same time achieve economic viability. Food security, environmental and economic sustainable practices will have to be developed, delivering to consumers a highly desirable, safe product. Changes in climatic variables will affect production and value chain practices. Present changes in consumers' wants and needs, mean value chains and farmer practices in southeast Asia need to change quickly. These changes are occurring slowly, but at what cost to whom? Development of new preharvest and postharvest technologies targeting consumer wants and needs are primary factors driving new value chain dynamics, but environmental stewardship by smallholders and chain participants, and economic management are also major components of value chains. Presently these are not being targeted. Improvements in environmental practices (use integrated pest management systems, on farm best practice), need to be implemented to ensure a safe product is delivered to consumers. Furthermore, on farm, preharvest and postharvest and value chain practices will have to be highly adaptable to environmental and financial changes. This paper is part 1 of a series to discuss possible solutions to resolve the conflicts between climate constraints and the challenge of achieving economic viability for value chains and Asian farmers.