Corporate Social Responsibility andSustainable Agricultural Development                                                   ...
Corporate Social Responsibility ● Environmental Stewardship ● Social LicenseStrategy Development and Partnerships         ...
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Mining and Agriculture Development: Al Hingston article


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An article by Al Hingston on lessons learned from a decade of helping mining companie to work effectively and sustainably with local agriculture stakeholders. Hingston's work has helped companies to develop and maintain social license in a way that is both cost effective and very supportive of local agricultural stakeholders.

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Mining and Agriculture Development: Al Hingston article

  1. 1. Corporate Social Responsibility andSustainable Agricultural Development Corporate Social Responsibility ● Environmental Stewardship ● Social LicenseIntroductionMining companies often find themselves A good relationship between the minedeveloping projects in rural areas where Sustainable agricultural and local communities provides a sensesubsistence or smallholder farming is the development is an of “ownership” which can mitigatetraditional way of life for local communities, opportunity for strategic community risk and, improve labourand farmers’ connection to the market investment. productivity.economy is minimal or non-existent.While mining and agriculture might be ROI is in the greater value And in return, the mine’sconsidered at best unrelated and at worst created for both the local agricultural development strategyantagonistic, a mine can play an active and community and the mining adds significant commercial andvital role in creating sustainable value in company. reputational value to the mine.the local agricultural economy.Creating Stakeholder InvestmentInstead of having to respond to ad-hoc requests formoney, the mine can proactively propose an agriculturaldevelopment plan. This ensures that its contributions will be Good initiatives for a development strategy include:recognized as well as having a greater impact and benefiton the target communities. Key to the success of this is Extension support and capacity building:stakeholder involvement, from local to global. • Farm management - making best use of available Locally, each village and each family must be able to see resources;themselves within this strategy and see the benefits ofparticipation. This means local involvement in developing • Crop selection, production, irrigation and post-the strategy. harvest storage techniques;However, participation and support from national and even • Livestock management, nutrition, breeding and international bodies can be necessary to ensure a successful disease control;return from the investment. • Marketing - including supply chains and price Practical, achievable and measurable discovery;The simplest support for local agricultural development is • Value-added processing and packaging increase demand for locally grown produce and provide Micro-credit for agricultural inputsthe technical support for this. Asking local producers tosupply the mine’s catering requirements (e.g., vegetables, Infrastructure – water, roads, power, communications.fruits, beef, pork, lamb, chickens, eggs, etc.) encourages crop Improved awareness of, access to and input intodiversification, scaling up of output, and supports small existing government programs and policies.micro-irrigation projects, and local processing capacity. Including communities in geographically targetedWorking in partnership with cooperatives, women’s programs, which might otherwise bypass them.organizations, farmer associations, etc., helps spreadthe benefit throughout the community and avoids the Empowerment, supporting due autonomy forappearance and practice of favoritism. community-based organizations (CBOs)
  2. 2. Corporate Social Responsibility ● Environmental Stewardship ● Social LicenseStrategy Development and Partnerships Visibility – will the mine be seen as actively assisting agriculture in the communities?To create maximum sustainable value for families andto maximise return on the mine’s CSR investment, a Financial Capacity – how much money over what timecomprehensive Agriculture Development Strategy should be period can the mine invest?developed for the region. Management & Leadership – who will manage theHowever, this is a multi-stakeholder process, with the mine support to the community?sharing some but not all responsibilities. Furthermore, by Start-Up and Lead-Time – how long will it take totaking a role not as the primary agency but as a partner in organize and finance the various strategy components?agricultural development along with other developmentstakeholders, the mine can leverage its financial contributions Scalability – can the component serve as a pilot and beinto far greater development impact than by going alone. ’scaled up’ by other development stakeholders?Integration: the strategy should be based upon a Immediacy and degree of local impact – how sooncomprehensive agricultural development plan for the and by how much will the impact of the intervention becommunities, and will ideally align with an overall rural felt at the local level?development strategy or program already underway. Buy-in to the final strategy should be sought from all stakeholders Strategic Partnerships – can the mine’s financialup the governance and bureaucratic chain, including the contribution leverage resources from other agenciesDepartment of Agriculture, local government, and other (governments, World Bank, UNDP, IFAD, civil society) economic development stakeholders. Unless they see the with similar development goals?benefits, their opposition could mitigate any chance of Sustainability – is the intervention environmentally,success. financially and socially sound?Sustainability: to be sustainable, such a strategy should Post-closure – how will each component of the strategyreflect the entire industry, working backwards from help to mitigate the impact of mine closure on localinternational and national contexts through to regional and communities and families?local level. The strategy will ideally build on current localpractices, which are based on local environment, culture Contact Informationand tradition and incorporate new best practice based onscience. It should be structured so that it can be a roadmap For further information on how Wayne Dunn & Associates for assistance and support to the industry and can be used by can support your firm to bring greater development value tothe mine and other development stakeholders. the communities in which it operates, please check out our website or contact us directly.Opportunities and constraints: these can be as varied asnew crops, new technology, governance and land tenure, Mr. Allen Hingston, BSA MScenvironmental degradation, gender inequities, credit, input Agricultural Development Specialist supply, marketing infrastructure or value-added processing. Wayne Dunn & Associates, Ltd.They may require action and provide benefits beyond the 2457 Bakerview Road, immediate community level. Mill Bay, BC Canada V0R 2P4Defining the company’s contributionOnce an agricultural development strategy is determined, the company can develop its ownintervention strategy for the projects and programsit will undertake or support. The company’s approachshould take into account the following variables ateach step of the