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What types of safety nets would be most efficient and effective for protecting small farmers and the poor against volatile food prices?

Published by:
Online Location
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Middle East & North Africa
Focus Topic:
Nutrition / Food Systems
Type of Risk:
Biological & environmental
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk assessment
Jeffrey Alwang, George W. Norton
Food Security Journal
Smallholder farmers in dryland areas, including the Arab region, face many risks, including those relating to weather and markets. While risk-taking is necessary for economic development, many risks are so severe that responses to them entail long-term losses. Social risk management is a family of tools that facilitates efficient risk management and can help eliminate risk-related poverty traps. Safety nets form an important part of the social risk management toolkit; it is therefore important to evaluate their effectiveness. This review has identified several considerations for the design and implementation of safety nets to improve food security among small-scale producers in dryland areas. The main conclusions are: safety nets must be part of an integrated risk management strategy; they should be designed to contribute to long-term agricultural growth; more effort is needed to establish efficient risk management mechanisms prior to crises.