A population, community or household may become economically vulnerable due to a number of reasons, leaving them struggling to climb out of poverty in risk-prone environments. Weather-related shocks (i.e. droughts or floods) or conflict, lack of access to productive assets or market opportunities, or the impacts of poor health and nutrition can all be negative contributing factors. In response, Land O’Lakes takes a two-pronged approach to building resilience: We enable communities and households to reduce their risks, while building their adaptive capacity
to withstand such shocks. These efforts are integral to enabling chronically poor and food insecure populations to climb out of poverty.
Households and communities must develop the capacity to mitigate existing and potential risks and to reduce their negative impacts. This may mean adopting drought-tolerant or drought-resistant crop varieties in drought-prone areas, or building protective infrastructure in flood-prone areas. Where households raise livestock, strategies that reduce the risk of diseases – such as vaccination, disease surveillance and early response – can be critical to protecting and improving livelihoods.
Additional safeguards may include:
- Village savings and loan groups that protect savings
- Low-tech weather surveillance that enable farmers to monitor the weather
- Effective storage facilities that prevent post-harvest losses and protect food supplies
- Micro-insurance that protects farmer investments in crops and livestock
At the same time, it is critical that households develop their assets and income base. In the short-term, it is essential for chronically poor households to address basic food needs. However, when food security is achieved, a critical objective is to ensure sustainability through productive and income-generating activities.
For these households, a “Push-Pull” strategy is often effective: first to push farmers up – enabling them to produce products and earn incomes, and then to facilitate their linkage to markets that pull them out of poverty.
Lowering the barriers to market entry can be accomplished in a number of ways:
- Training and appropriate input subsidies that enable farmers to produce high value products
- Facilitating value addition to enhance earnings for farmers with limited assets and capacity
- Developing bulking capacity for aggregation to facilitate sale to wholesalers and food processors
- Training vulnerable household members on economic strengthening to enable them to earn incomes while providing needed goods and services that address gaps in market systems and value chains
- Offering financial incentives to wholesalers and processors to source products from vulnerable producers
for our Resilience fact sheet