Market integration of small holder farmers through CA in Zimbabwe michael jenrich
Market Integration of Small Holder Farmers through CA in ZimbabweMichael Jenrich, FAO ZW
Summary Smallholder farming in Africa is largely subsistence based Little or no market integration, few farmers generate income (support for food security..) low yields (food insecurity) poverty and migration low investments (e. g. mechanization, irrigation, improved inputs and credits) Many small holders’ lands holdings could be sufficient to generate income, if utilized efficiently farmers are not able to increase production and productivity lack of access to markets, funding and adequate technical support Involvement of private sector would be key for change (input, output, capital), but does require productivity increases as entry...
Background Low productivity, farmers don’t make money Rural families do not see farming as a way to generate income Governments support for agriculture, specially small holders is low Private sector involvement is very limited, small holder sector is “problematic” (small areas, low yields, poor infrastructure, farmers not organized, insecure tenure, no credit, poor track record...) Result: →even less money and migration (poor old weak and uneducated stay behind)
Interventions Improve yield levels swiftly and sustainably and without major capital investments. Integrate farmers into input and output markets Support farmers to organize Complement with extension and training Initial funding and credit systems
Support Activities Improved land and crop management (CA+) Input and Output Support (Contract Growing, including initial funding) Community and Farmer Capacity Building Part funding
Improved land and crop management(CA +) CA is central, provides quick & reliable way to increase and stabilize yields without capital investments Farmers are achieving higher production levels and production security, which is attracting private sector Improved productivity opens opportunities to participate in markets and generating on farm incomes
Improved Agronomy, builds confidence CA, (backed by strong extension, IPM, etc). Precise & Timely (planting holes), increasing yield potentials significantly Inputs (lime, fertilizer, manure) used efficiently (concentrate in planting basins) Reducing costs Farmers can do the land preparation in the dry (winter, off season) Land preparation by hand maybe seen as a step backwards, but it gives resource poor farmers an opportunity to do land preparation timely and precise and establish crops well... Timely and precise operations through CA is giving private sector confidence to invest
Complementing activities Initial input support, based on market agreement Capacity building, in cooperation with farmers unions Monitoring & arbitration (if needed) Credits (inputs or bank guarantee) for private sector Weather insurance CA machinery development and contracting Plant protection and fertilizer contractors
Ongoing Link private sector to farmers (this season 20.000 farmers, Ø 1ha each) Support –and supervise- contract growing agreements Integrate relevant stake holders (farmers, private sector, farmers unions, government and donors) Lobby for role out...... (policy & private sector)
Impacts Currently 20.000 farmers (12 companies > 20.000ha, requests for 50.000 farmers) Significant impact on HH and economy Funds goes to and circulates in rural areas Indirect income (weeding at $ 5/day in plantation areas) Potential for huge scale up in region
Lessons Some small holders can and will commercialize if supported appropriately (change of agronomy & mind set) Many small holders can generate sufficient income from their farms Private sector could facilitate the utilization of the vast potential of small holder agriculture Farmers, private sector and economy benefit Inputs, credits, tenure security, extension systems need to be improved parallel
Conclusion Through CA small holder farmers can improve productivity, link to private sector and commercialize swiftly and without major capital investment Given the vast potential of South Eastern Africa, CA in combination with market linkages can unlock huge farming potentials in the region CA could be part of the key to increase very low yields and productivity in the region...