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VU ICT4D symposium 2017 Wendelien Tuyp: Boosting african agriculture


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Presentation by Wendeline Tuijp

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VU ICT4D symposium 2017 Wendelien Tuyp: Boosting african agriculture

  1. 1. Boosting African agriculture: two perspectives Wendelien Tuyp
  2. 2. Industrial agribusiness model for Africa • Large scale • Monocultures • Key: maximizing production • Cash crops for global market – maize, palm oil, soybean, cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, rice, rubber • Low biodiversity • High external (chemical) input (fertilizer, pesticides, industrial seeds) • Mechanization • High input costs – low labour intensive
  3. 3. G8: transforming African agriculture by big agribusiness • In 2012 launch of New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition by G8 to transform African Agriculture through private sector-led and market drive food systems. • Central role for agribusiness and increased use of industrial inputs (synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hybrid and genetically modified seeds) Source: Oakland Institute • Public and private stakeholders in the New Alliance commit to policy changes and investments that accelerate implementation of African country plans for improving food security and nutrition. Source: Website New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition
  4. 4. G8 assumptions claim: • increase the yields/ boost African food productivity • provide jobs and lead to better incomes of farmers / economic growth • give farmers access to agricultural credits • remove bottlenecks to commercialization and transportation • ensure the continent’s food security
  5. 5. • Win-win situation: who are the winners in this approach? Questions
  6. 6. Coffee company Olam in Tanzania • 2000 ha for irrigated coffee plantation in Lipokela village, €2 million investment for a dam to store rainwater • Donors: Dutch Development Bank and GIZ Germany, incl public money • Aim: improving local livelihoods, income diversification, sustainable agriculture • Number of workers at the plantation: 400 people (1000 during harvest) with wages of $2 per day • Also: contract farmers, receiving free coffee seedlings and training, they pay for transport and loans for fertilizer. • Issues on plantation: displacement of farmers, irrigation, wages. Issues for contract farmers: coffee is a cash crop, competing with other crops on the farmer’s fields, irrigation on farmer’s fields, fertilizer costs €80 for 4 sacs (40 days of work), coffeebeans only after 4 years
  7. 7. Win-win situation? • The company decides what to produce, which period, the product price, providing fertilizer, receiving public money to invest • Farmers take all risks as investors • Farmers lose their autonomy Source: PPP win-win opportunities? documentary at ARTE in French
  8. 8. Smallholder / family farms • Small scale agriculture – up to 10 ha • Multi cultures – crop diversification and rotation • Important: risk spreading • Food crops for local market, using part of produce for family consumption • Biodiversity is key to keep many (climate-resilient) varieties and breeds alive • Labour intensive (mainly family) • Low external (chemical/financial) inputs • Low mechanization • Seeking stability of the farm household system Source: FAO
  9. 9. Small farmers are key to feeding the world "Empirical and scientific evidence shows that small farmers feed the world. According to the UN Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO), 70% of food we consume globally comes from small farmers", said Prof Hilal Elver (UN special rapporteur on the right to food) “We all know that hunger and malnutrition cannot be solved by pushing for more production-oriented policies. There is more than enough food in the world for all. The problem is accessibility and economic inequality.”
  10. 10. World Bank on agriculture in Mali • Organic fertilizer has a large and positive effect on productivity and resilience in dryland agriculture • Subsidized pesticides are often overused by maize and rice producers • Mechanization related technology appears not to provide significant productivity benefits • Small farms are significantly more efficient than large farms • Crops like millet and sorghum are locally consumed: no transport problems • Knowledge of farming methods is unevenly distributed • There seems to be a lack of effective advsory services • Successful poverty reduction strategy in arid zones not only rests on maximized productivity, it also rests on stabilizing yields and reducing risk. Source: World Bank Enabling the digital revolution in SSA - country focus Mali spring 2017
  11. 11. Farmer Innovation: the process in which farmers experiment to improve their farming systems ‘If Africa realizes its own potential in innovation around SLM, especially at community level, it can do vastly better than copying and pasting approaches from elsewhere in the world’. Justine Braby, External evaluator - March 2016.
  12. 12. Ghana: Moatani women’s groups and their initiative on composting “You cannot turn up and tell locals what to do, that doesn’t achieve anything. You need to listen, learn and share that knowledge. African farmers already know that they have to be more productive and that they must do it in a more sustainable way than many other places. Our job is to help them achieve their goal.” Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment - September 2016.
  13. 13. W4RA team
  14. 14. Thank you!