Farmer Support Systems

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of International Earth Day on April 22 2020, UNDP launched a new way of helping farmers: Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration for Systemic Change: A New Approach to Strengthening Farmer Support Systems, a guidance note which encourages and guides governments to develop new partnerships, enable innovation and strengthen financing for farmer support systems for sustainable commodity production.

UNDP helps developing economies around the world accelerate their progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. A key part of this is supporting the systemic transformation of agricultural commodity sectors, which are a vital economic driver for many of these economies. Farmer support systems – a key part of these sectors - are often weak, operating with top-down mechanisms that do not meet the needs on the ground. UNDP is working with governments to transform this, supporting smallholder farmers within commodity supply chains in a systemic fashion, changing the dynamic by bringing stakeholders to work together to create meaningful change. Multi-stakeholder collaboration for systemic change, the UNDP’s Green Commodities Programme’s, becomes of great importance in this context.

The document, which also includes a practical Diagnosis Scorecard, provides guidance to sustainable commodity production practitioners from government, civil society and private sector on how to collaboratively assess and strengthen farmer support systems in order to achieve the broader goal of improving livelihoods and protecting vulnerable ecosystems. This focus and guidance is a major part of UNDP’s Strategic Plan and draws on 10 years of UNDP addressing the sustainability challenges of highly traded commodities.

The Farmer Support Toolkit is intended to:

  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration for systemic change leading to joint diagnosis, investigation and agreement on systemic solutions to strengthening existing farmer support systems;
  • Support the elaboration of updated collective vision, strategies and implementation plans for national and sub-national farmer support systems.

For further information, please contact Nicolas Petit, Senior Commodities Advisor, UNDP Green Commodities Programme, at