Thesis subject

Structuring markets for sustainable food systems: role of government purchases in Argentina

This project is part of an EU grant on Green Job creation. The key partner is the Argentinian Network of Municipalities Against Climate Change. As part of this project, there is a need to develop public procurement models—how governments purchase food—that can support small scale farmers.

Background

This project is part of an EU grant on Green Job creation. The key partner is the Argentinian Network of Municipalities Against Climate Change. As part of this project, there is a need to develop public procurement models—how governments purchase food—that can support small scale farmers.

In Argentina, like in many regions around the world, there are small-scale farmers producing food following agroecological practices who struggle to find stable and fair markets for their products. In the absence of market demand for agroecological, diversified products, how do you survive as a smallscale farmer? My prior work has focused on public procurement in Brazil, who pioneered very interesting models of public procurement which supported smallscale farmers in transitioning from monocultures to diversified farming systems, and in adopting agroecological practices.

Read more here and in this recent editorial in Lancet:

Along with the Argentinian Network of Municipalities Against Climate Change, we are exploring public procurement models to support more sustainable food systems in Argentina.

Type of research activities

Field work would take place in 2-5 municipalities in Argentine. You would spend time intervieweing farmers, government officials, and other stakeholders to understand the challenges that (agroecological) small-scale farmers face in commercializing their products, and how purchases by government could help create a steadier market. This will require studying the literature to investigate other examples (such as the case in Brazil), and then exploring will local stakeholders what is feasible and desirable in the Argentinian context. Types of research activities will include interviews, focus groups, literature reviews.

What kind of student are you looking for?

The ideal candidate will have an interest in any of the following: connecting consumption to production, creating markets to support sustainable food production. The candidates need at least some basic conversation Spanish since activities will include interviews. Preference will be given to students who can conduct both their internship and MSc thesis within this project.