Hivos International


Hivos established the Women @ Work (W@W) program with the aim of promoting decent work for women who earn their living in global horticultural production chains. The program enlists the participation of Southern partners spread over Eastern Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia), with a consumer advocacy component, housed within Hivos headquarters in The Hague, aimed at promoting “ethical consumerism”, and proactive engagement with Northern governments. Women constitute the majority of horticultural sector workers. Gender dynamics make women more vulnerable to workplace violations.

Rural youth today, farmers tomorrow?

The Knowledge Programme on ‘Small producers agency in globalised markets’ released this first Working Paper during the First Provocative Seminar and the Hivos Conference on Knowledge and Change. This paper looks at some of the big dilemmas confronting small-scale producers. It revisits five decades of changes in policies, behavior and practices and highlights some areas of debate that have changed in light of the 2007-2008 global food crisis.

If you've seen the film Speed you will remember the conundrum that Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves find themselves in when they discover a bomb underneath a bus. As soon as the speed of the bus drops below 50mph, the bomb will explode, so our heroes resort to driving around in circles. But the petrol tank is running dry... The only solution is to get out! This represents the dilemma we face in our economy and in agriculture too, according to journalist Frank Mulder. In his essay "How our means are undermining our goals: What a Hollywood movie can teach us about agriculture", he argues that we are setting ourselves up for failure by turning our agricultural system into a food production machine to maximize short term profits. The bus in the movie Speed is our global economy. Financial markets are the bomb...

The Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development recently  released the report 'Biodiversity Business from India to Peru'. The  study, commissioned by Hivos, provides new insights in the impacts and  success factors of the upcoming concept of biodiversity-friendly  enterprise across the globe. By means of a case study of 30 biodiversity  businesses, the report aims to inform and inspire a broad audience  about the promising pro-biodiversity market in order to promote its  growth as an integrated approach for sustainable development. The report  is freely accessible through the link below.

In this paper, value chain finance (VCF) is understood as 'finance based o the relationship between two or more actors in the value chain, either directly (one actor provides credit to another) or indirectly (one actor obtains credit from a financial institution based on a sales relationship with another actor).

The Knowledge Programme on ‘Small producers agency in globalised markets’ released this first Working Paper during the First Provocative Seminar and the Hivos Conference on Knowledge and Change which took place in The Hague from 28 September to 1 October.

Food insecurity threatens almost one billion people, especially in rural areas in developing countries, where four out of five people go hungry every day. Scientists estimate that the world’s population will grow to 9.1 billion by 2050. Since natural resources are already dangerously degraded, fossil fuels are becoming scarce, and climate change has become an impending reality, this poses a serious challenge. To nourish the growing population and meet the challenges of climate change, it is necessary that the unused potential of small-scale producers – who already today provide an impressive 70 percent of the world’s food – is unleashed.

With the global population expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050, there has been growing attention at the highest policy circles to the contribution of small-scale agriculture to food security and poverty eradication. However, the creation of an enabling framework towards this end has been hampered by contradictory approaches and policy ''pendulum swings" alternately on 'rights-based' and 'market-based' support strategies. This issue of aims to refocus attention on the critical but largely neglected issue of producer  agency: that is, the capacity of producers to make informed choices, and to act on those choices.

The development of China as a global economic power is one of the most dramatic stories of recent decades. China’s economy has been the fastest growing in the world since 1980. Rapid growth has occurred in all sectors, including agriculture, accompanied by rapid poverty reduction. In the past 30 years, based on China’s official poverty line, the absolute level of rural poverty fell from 260 million (36 per cent of rural population) in 1978 to 26.9 million (2.8 per cent of rural population) in 2010 (NSBC, 2011). Moreover, the general welfare of most of the population has increased markedly. Many indicators of nutritional status have improved. In fact, by the middle of 2007, China had achieved many of its Millennium Development Goals.