The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) High-Level Forum on Connecting Smallholders to Markets that was held in Italy last week, brought together a wide range of concerned stakeholders to discuss issues, challenges and ways to improve the access of smallholders to markets.

The event aimed to identify ways in which CFS can contribute to addressing those challenges and arrive at broad recommendations on areas for priority action to strengthen smallholder access to markets (FAO, 2015).

Coastal links South Africa, represented by Christiaan Adam, was the only fisher organisation that attended the event. Christian the national chairperson of CLSA was part of the High level panel.

“I wish there was a better representation of fisher organisations present in the discussion,” commented Christian.

The forum discussed policy implications based on the realities faced by smallholders as market actors in a globalised food system. Lessons from concrete examples of how farmers and farm groups have found opportunities to link to markets were also part of the discussions.

“The South African government was also not present, I think it is vital for them to attend such events so that they can hear and discuss issues that could help them implement policies better, especially in this time where we are busy with the implementation of the Small-scale fisheries policy (SSFP),” he continued.

The event took place from the 23 until the 25 of June and brought together more than 100 people from around the world representing farming, agriculture and food research organisations.

Read more on the event here:

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