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The global food crisis has focused attention on agriculture and spurred increased investment in the sector. The attention of public policy and research investment has been focused on smallholder farmers’ productivity. However, it is critical to enable opportunities throughout the value chain to improve smallholder farmers’ access to market with the associated income improvements. With post-farm losses in the global supply of food estimated to be 10–40%, research throughout the food chain is as important to global food security as research to improve yields. The global trade in food is relatively small in comparison to domestic production and consumption, so improvement in the effectiveness of domestic food value-chains to deliver adequate quantities of food is important. In addition to food quantity, the importance of quality attributes, in particular food safety and sound nutrition, which contribute to overall food security, become critical elements of public policy and research investment. The Green Revolution in Asia highlights the contribution of research in improving smallholder productivity. However, research is also delivering a range of innovative outcomes throughout the value chain which are improving smallholder farmers’ ability to compete in rapidly changing markets, including in the modern retail environment, while delivering on consumer expectation, reducing waste and improving efficiencies. The paper discusses some of these innovative successes throughout the value chain that improve smallholder farmer competitiveness and contribute to global food security.


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