SALSA is currently publishing a series of short videos through the SALSA Twitter account @SalsaH2020 that gathers the impressions and experiences of some of the persons involved in the SALSA project. These interviews cover some of the many aspects of the eight Work Packages as well as the role of the Expert Stakeholder Panel.
We will continue the publications over the coming weeks so follow us on @SalsaH2020 or go directly to our YouTube channel. This post will be updated as more videos are released.
Teresa Pinto Correia, project coordinator, from the Institute of Mediterranean Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (ICAAM), of the University of Évora (Portugal) introduces the SALSA project. She explains why there was a need for a project that analyses and provides evidence on the role of small farms and small food businesses in food and nutrition security. Salsa poses the question: what role do small farms play for food security and how do they contribute?
Stefano Grando (University of Pisa) explains how the partners of the SALSA project agreed on the concept of small farm: starting from a definition of size, taking into consideration the context of the small farms, they also looked at relational aspects. “We can say farms are small if they need to horizontally cooperate with other players to overcome limits related to their size“.The University of Pisa (UNIPI) is leader of Work Package 1: Transdisciplinary theory building and analytical framework. WP1 aims at developing, through a trans-disciplinary process, a better understanding of the role of small farms and small food businesses in food and nutrition security. WP1 is now developing of an empirically grounded conceptual framework based on the progress of the SALSA research. “Research results both confirmed and challenged initial assumptions”.
Sergio Godinho (University of Évora) describes how his team tested the capabilities of the Sentinel-2 satellite to produce information on small farms such as crop-type maps, the extraction of crop areas and the estimation of crop production. Illustrating the main challenges in using the new Sentinel-2 satellite imagery in the SALSA project, he explains how the combination of Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1 proved to be a good option.
This activity belongs to Work Package 2 Estimating the distribution of small farms and their actual and potential production capacity. This research has added the use of innovations such as GIS and remote sensing to the SALSA project.
Bill Vorley, from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), explains his role as member of the Expert Stakeholder Panel of the SALSA project. The Expert Stakeholders get together a number of times during the project “taking an integrated approach on how it’s going, how close to the original objective it is and what relevant policy messages are coming out”.
He also stresses the importance of SALSA not only looking at small farmers but at small farm businesses as well. Another important aspect is the involvement of both African and European countries.
“I think the project has been very well managed, there’s great new evidence, it’s been well documented and as an adviser I’m quite excited about what this project can contribute at a very critical point in policy”.
Samuel Féret, President of Groupe de Bruges, Coordinator of ARC2020 and member of the Expert Stakeholder Panel, illustrates how he sees the project moving forward. For him an important aspect of the SALSA project is the possibility to contribute to policy recommendations to facilitate small farming. Another element of importance is the progressive building of a scientific community around small farming. “I’m confident that the SALSA project will act as a milestone for future research on small farmers”.
María Rivera Méndez (University of Evora ) and Alejandro Guarín (IIED) from Work Package 3 In-depth assessment of food systems in the 30 reference regions have been coordinating and collecting data based on different sources of information (interviews to key informants, focus groups and regional workshops) from all the WPs. One of the main challenges for WP3 has been to find indicators that are both comparable but still show different realities and contexts. There is much prejudice on small farmers; they are marginal, on their way out – but we found that across regions, income levels and different kinds of value chains, they play quite an important role.
Dionisio Ortiz Miranda (University of Valencia) leader of Work Package 4 Participatory foresight analysis explains why it was important for the team of his department of Economics and Social Sciences to participate in the SALSA project and to get involved with a network of researcher from both European and African countries.
In this video Dionisio Ortiz Miranda talks about the experience of leading the participatory foresight analysis for the SALSA project, an exercise aimed to assess the potential contribution of small farms and business to the regional food production and to identify the preconditions to maximize their contribution to food and nutrition security. A total of 13 workshop have been organized across Europe and Africa. Dionisio Ortiz Miranda also discusses the main challenges encountered during these participatory activities.