Research meetup 12 – Supporting Brazilian Smallholder Farmers to Distribute their Produce through Institutional Markets

25-01-2023 17:00 - 18:00 CET

Andrea Tuni is an Assistant Professor at Politecnico di Torino (Italy), Department of Management and Production Engineering. His research focuses on sustainable supply chain management adopting a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods, looking at green supply chains, circular economy, reverse logistics, performance measurement, food supply chains, food distribution and logistics, as well as investigating applications for solidarity economy in developing countries. His research aims to tackle multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including SDG1 – No Poverty, SDG10 – Reduced Inequalities and SDG12 - Responsible Consumption and Production.


Smallholder farmers are among the most vulnerable communities in developing countries due to poverty and social exclusion, lacking a stable income due to inconsistent access to markets. Aiming to tackle rural poverty, Brazilian government established institutional markets for smallholder farmers to supply their produce to schools through a non-competitive bidding mechanism. Participation of farmers to these institutional markets remains still limited due to challenges in the evaluation of the profitability of participating to each call of the bidding mechanism and in the planning and coordination of the distribution activities.
A decision support system (DSS) was developed to guide farmers on the different stages of the institutional markets participation, including the definition of the optimal strategies for bidding and contract acceptance, as well as the optimisation of the distribution activities through a Heterogeneous Fleet Split Delivery Vehicle Routing Problem, aiming to maximise the profits for farmers. The DSS was applied to the case study of Canudos settlement (Goiás state) and is progressively being embedded in Progressive Web Apps to maximise its real-life impact. The proposed approach has a significant social impact for 1.5 million vulnerable smallholder farmers in Brazil and can substantially improve their living conditions by providing security of income and reducing poverty, thus strengthening inclusive agricultural growth.

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