As globalisation draws products from around the world into streamlined value-chains, consumers are simultaneously less connected to the provenance of their food and upstream actors in that chain. Actors such as agrifood producers have little authority to influence the chain or make a viable living from it. Yet the alternatives for many producers in the developing world are often more constricting. This paper compares the barriers faced by small-scale producers in lowland Bolivia before and after they have diversified their livelihoods with an export crop, coffee. The results of the case study show that while some of the problems faced by farmers endure regardless of crop, there are some that are effectively answered by participation in a larger and more robust global market. The paper also examines some of the ways that elements such as farmer associations and technical advice can be critical for successfully increasing income and livelihood sustainability.
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