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In 2012 Oxfam and IIED joined forces to create Tipping the Balance a global report exploring the connection between the policy and practice of investment and market governance in small scale agriculture in four countries: Nigeria, Tanzania, Guatemala and the Philippines. This is the study from Guatemala evidence of which fed into the main Tipping the Balance report.

Public policies on commercial investment in agriculture and market governance play a fundamental role in ensuring inclusive, sustainable development of small-scale farming, particularly with regard to women in rural areas. This study focuses on establishing the framework of policies and rules applicable in Guatemala and the favourable or unfavourable impact they have on both male and female small-scale rural producers. The results reveal that, although rural-development policies and programmes exist, their benefits are limited due to the disconnect between the design and the implementation of such policies. The public policies and forms of market governance currently in place clearly tip the balance in favour of large-scale commercial investments in both monoculture farmland and the agri-food sector.

This report is the result of the research carried out pursuant to the research report summary published by Oxfam and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in December 2012 entitled ‘Tipping the balance: policies to shape agricultural investments and markets in favour of small-scale farmers‘.

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