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Small farms, small food businesses and sustainable food security

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SALSA (Small farms, small food businesses and sustainable food security)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2019-03-31

"The overall goal of SALSA ""Small Farms, Small Food Businesses and Sustainable Food Security"" is to develop a better understanding of the current and potential contribution of small farms to Food and Nutrition Security (FNS). SALSA does this by assessing the role of Small Farms and Small Food Businesses in the regional food systems, being food system outcomes determinant to FNS.
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Until the end of the period covered by the report, the main results that have been achieved can be structured into practical, operational objectives as follows:
(1) Provision of the conceptual foundations for all subsequent work (contributing to specific objectives 1 and 2)
•Relevant theoretical frameworks have been identified and connected in a holistic approach that pays attention to all four components of FNS: availability of nutritious and safe food, food access (including affordability), food utilisation, and food stability (WP1, T1.1)
•Boundaries for all analyses and key terms were defined (WP1, T1.1)
•A transdisciplinary process with experts of different disciplines and stakeholders was kicked-off to support conceptual development (WP1, T1.2)
(2) Generation of small farm maps for Europe, identification of reference regions, analysis of Sentinel 2 (specific objectives 1 and 2)
•A detailed data analysis was carried out leading to a map of the distribution and relevance of small farms in Europe. To support this, a major consultation with national experts in all countries covered by the project was carried out (WP2, T.2.1)
•Until now information was produced for 21 Reference Regions (districts or NUTS3), representative of small farm situations across Europe (20) and one from Africa (WP2, T.2.2).
•Sentinel 2 data was analyzed to provide maps on the agricultural are existing in each reference region; maps with the special distribution of small farms (probability) over the agricultural area; and map with the dominant crop types in the plots of small farms, and finally the potential production estimated of small farms, verified at regional level have been provided (WP2, T.2.3).
(3) In-depth analysis in the reference regions has been completed (contributing to specific objectives 1 and 2).
•The methodological guidelines for the first and second round of fieldwork and data collection in the Reference Regions and respective reporting (key informant interviews, small farms and small food business interviews, focus groups, regional workshop, and foresight workshop) were elaborated.
•All enquiries to key informants in the Reference Regions were carried out (T3.1) to get a first idea of the food systems in the regions, and to identify relevant stakeholders (T3.2).
*The joint and comparative analysis of data on the food systems for a set of key products in each Reference Region, and of data on small farms and small food businesses, has been performed, with results explicit in D.3.2. and D.3.3.
*Data collection has been carried out in all 30 Reference Regions (WP3, T3.3 T3.4; WP4, T.4.1 T4.2. T4.3; WP5, 5.1). The analysis of the foresight workshops is to be provided in during the next reporting period (WP4, T 4.4).
• A gender focused analysis has been elaborated with data from the 30 Reference Regions (WP5, T.5.2.); a list of key questions related to the governance of small farmer organisations and food chains was elaborated (WP5, T5.1/T5.3); a list of key questions related to policy and enabling conditions was elaborated (WP6, T6.1).
• A WP6 internal working document was developed to identify appropriate methodologies for conducting Tasks 6.1–6.4. Particular attention was paid to understanding the African policy context in relation to the international food and nutritional security agenda.
• The SWOT based methodology developed to identify small farms needs has been developed and distributed to all partners (WP6, T. 6.1)

(4) Presentation of the project to relevant audiences and contributions to relevant discussions (contributing to specific objectives 4 and 5)
•An Expert-Stakeholder-Panel (ESP) was established to advise on project implementation (WP7, T7.1)
•A more detailed communication and impact plan was elaborated to increase the impact and sustainability of the outcomes of SALSA (WP7, T7.2-3)
•Communities of Practice on the questions addressed in SALSA are promoted at international, national
(1) Research-related progress and impacts
SALSA goes beyond previous research as it connects its analysis of food availability, i.e. increasing the production of food, with an analysis of food access, especially for low-income groups, and the related question of the resilience of food systems. The 30 regions reflect the diversity of small farms and food systems in Europe and Africa.
(2) Practice-related progress and impacts
The SALSA team has developed and is piloting an approach that helps to overcome the limitations of official statistics on small farms and regional food systems. The set of maps of small-scale farming in Europe that has been produced is cutting-edge. The empirical work implemented in SALSA is highlighting the co-evolution between small farms and their particular contexts. The SALSA team also engages with relevant stakeholders and decision-makers to facilitate a dialogue that cuts across classical boundaries in research, policy and practice which finds its expression in numerous dissemination and engagement activities. However, it is too early to discuss the socio-economic impact and wider societal implications of the project.
(3) Policy-related progress and impacts
The in-depth understanding of the role of small farms in FNS in different regional situations is supporting decision-making in both the private and public sectors. The insights that we are obtaining from SALSA help already to better tailor international cooperation and future research collaboration. Contributions to policy-making and related to the identification of new development models for the agro-food sector will mainly be forthcoming in subsequent work.
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