Trade and Agricultural Policies to Support Small-scale Farmers and Enhance Food Security


The project aims to strengthen national capacities to design and implement complementary trade and agricultural policies. The resulting studies examine the distributional and food security consequences of trade-led structural transformations in agriculture. The framework developed in the project looks at achieving higher integration of vulnerable groups that are dependent on agriculture into global value chains. If inclusive and sustainable, this integration will create new opportunities arising from commercialization and diversification in subsistence agriculture, particularly those stemming from the shift in farming from low-value staple crops to higher-value commodities, and crop diversification.

The project leverages UNCTAD expertise in non-tariff measures, voluntary sustainability standards, the trade-agriculture-gender nexus, biofuels and renewable energy, and pro-poor structural rural diversification through trade. It encompasses a scaling up process to deliver multiplier effects at a larger scale. It mobilizes the synergy of the expertise from within UNCTAD, and is linked to the program of work of ECLAC, ESCAP and ECA. Some project activities are implemented in close connection with FAO.


  1. Generate knowledge and build awareness and understanding of stakeholders on the social and environmental effects of trade-led structural transformation in agriculture;
  2. Increase capacities of policy-makers and other stakeholders to integrate the knowledge in trade policy planning and implementation, and to harness trade for inclusive and sustainable development in rural areas.

Relevance to the Sustainable Development Goals





​The project builds on the Vanuatu NGER and is implemented in synergy with the UNCTAD VSS project. The study enhances opportunities for organic-by-default cocoa and coconut Vanuatu products in global markets, while preserving the family-type farming system and its fundamental food security.

Expected outcome:

Sustainability Impact Assessment Study on cocoa and coconut sectors;

Market Information Service:

  • Directory - national registry of stakeholders;
  • Pilot Repository - market intelligence tool.





​The project is aligned with Guatemala's policies. It evaluates the value chains chosen by the Guatemalan government that are highly dependent on family farming model of small-scale producers. Implementing sustainable strategies will leverage the dynamic potential of agriculture-dependant producers and promote functional complementarities between large and small farms, including export chains.

Expected outcome:

  • Sustainability Impact Assessment. Study on cocoa, cardamom and potato sectors;
  • Capacity building national activities.





​The project intervention is to be aligned with Malawi's Export Strategy. The identification of priority sectors is being determined in close connection with the national authorities, liaised through the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Malawi to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva.



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