Global standards and local knowledge building: Upgrading small producers in developing countries


Published: 17Aug2012

Author: Perez-Aleman, Paola


Local knowledge building is a crucial factor for upgrading small producers and improving their market competitiveness and livelihoods. The rise of global standards affecting food safety and environmental sustainability in agriculture sparks debates on the impact on smallholders in developing countries. This article presents a perspective on the links of international standards to knowledge and institution building for developing the capabilities of small producers. Interacting with global practices, indigenous private and public actors create local institutions to develop capabilities for product and process innovations that contribute to economic development and enhance food security. Local innovation depends on collective strategic efforts through increasing networks among small producers and other organizations, including firms, nongovernmental organizations, and government, that foster knowledge circulation and bring diverse resources and support to build local capabilities.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, July 2012