Acceso Connects Farmers to Formal Markets for Increased Earnings and Food Security
A social enterprise founded by the Clinton Foundation is working to change the trajectory of struggling smallholder farms in the Caribbean and Latin America by empowering them to maximize their earnings. With a business model based on keeping both profits and produce local, Acceso is aiming to reduce rural poverty by providing opportunities and stabilizing local food systems. Additionally, by enabling farmers to stay on their land, such enterprises not only bolster the domestic economy, but can also help to slow the accumulation and exploitation of farmland by global capital.
According to Acceso, there are 22 million smallholder farmers in the region living on less than $5 per day. Many of these farms produce less than their capacity due to a lack of quality seeds, fertilizer and equipment. On top of that, they are largely excluded from the formal markets that are needed for reliable income and instead rely on high-risk informal markets where there is no guarantee that their crops will sell, let alone fetch a fair price. With such a precarious place in agriculture, it’s no wonder many of these farms get sold off as farmers and workers migrate off the land.
Photo courtesy of USAID’s Development Credit Authority.