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The Marketing Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance Support Programme (MIVARF) is a seven-year programme aimed at supporting sustainable and profitable links between smallholders and markets in Tanzania. Through the 4Ps approach, the programme organizes smallholder producers into groups and cooperatives, teaching negotiation skills and building trust to reduce transaction costs with private investors.
To nutritiously and sustainably feed the planet, healthy and diversified diets need to be made available. By implementing a climate smart agroforestry approach that integrates food trees providing nutrient-dense foods, this solution expands smallholder farmer communities’ diets and livelihood options in East Africa.
As a result of population growth and changing diets, the demand for meat and milk is rising quickly in East and Southern Africa. This increase presents new opportunities for livestock producers but also means increased greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of the climate-smart dairy system is to improve forages and feeding strategies that increase the incomes and resilience of smallholder farmers.
The Rural Finance Expansion Programme (RUFEP) aims to increase access to and use of sustainable financial services by poor rural men, women and youth. The programme relies on digital platforms to link community-based financial institutions (CBFIs) to formal Financial Service Providers (FSPs). Since its inception in 2014, the programme has directly or indirectly benefitted nearly one million people
The Sustainable Rangeland Management Project (SRMP) is a land governance project with the goal of fostering inclusive land governance in order to improve food security and economic development in the context of competing land demands. The project relies on participatory land-use planning and allocating community land rights to move toward a more productive and accountability-based relationship among the local communities.
The Upper Tana Natural Resources Management Project (UTaNRMP) aims to increase sustainable food production and improve sustainable management of natural resources in Kenya. To limit conflict arising from the proximity of human settlements to wildlife habitats, a solar-powered wildlife control barrier was constructed in the forest near Mt. Kenya in collaboration with local communities, public actors and private organizations.
BrazAgro Limited is a leading supplier of farm machinery from Brazil to small-scale farmers in East Africa. The company has trained Kenyan dairy farmers to produce feed so that it is continuously available. This has enabled dairy farmers to process quality feed within a short period of time while reducing the feeding time of animals, thereby contributing to significantly increased milk production.
Wakulima Digital is a loan-disbursement solution that enables farmers to meet their financial obligations during characteristic post-harvest price downturns. By accessing loans through their mobile phones, poor smallholder farmers can secure funds without having to sell their produce at low prices during harvest periods.
The Agri-Entrepreneurs Model by Syngenta Foundation incentivizes youth to play an active role in their region’s agricultural development. An agri-entrepreneur (AE) brings together services such as access to credit, market linkages, high-quality inputs and crop advice for a cluster of 150-200 farmers. The model is currently active across 16 states in India. With over 40 partner organizations, the programme has stitched together a robust ecosystem to support smallholders.
In recent years, China has made important breakthroughs in the research and development of rodent infertility agents and has been using them to successfully control the animals’ populations. The Chinese Academy of Sciences launched experimentation projects in various countries in Africa for the purpose of verifying their efficacy to apply pest control advances, enhance agricultural undertakings, and boost incomes in these locations.
By introducing the Juncao species of grass in Fiji, the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University enabled smallholder farmers to greatly improve their incomes. Juncao can be used as feed for livestock during dry seasons and as a medium for cultivating edible and medicinal mushrooms.
China has developed suction trap systems to detect, monitor and control small pests such as aphids and whiteflies. These traps decrease pesticide consumption and reduce pest management costs. They can also help promote green pest management in countries participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Many scientific research institutions have also purchased suction traps to easily collect large numbers of specimens for insect biodiversity research.
A Farmers’ Hub (FH) is a one-stop commercial service platform where smallholders can access quality agri-inputs, farm machinery, markets, finance, and knowledge. Under a franchise system, each FH is run by an educated young rural person who ensures the quality of services. To optimize business operations and connect relevant partners, FHs use a digital tool called eFarmersHub. Around 200,000 smallholder farmers currently get services from FHs in Bangladesh.
Farmers across the Global South can learn from agroecological solutions presented by their peers via Access Agriculture’s online video platform. While thousands of organizations and rural service providers have freely downloaded and shared these videos from Africa, Asia and Latin America, farmers have become the largest occupational group signing up for Access Agriculture. At least sixty million farmers have seen Access Agriculture videos.
The Amplio Talking Book (ATB) audio device provides smallholder farmers with technical information and lessons to help them increase their productivity, food security and nutrition. Implemented by Literacy Bridge Ghana (LBG), the Talking Book program has reached 23,000 women farmers in northern Ghana, with participants rating the programme as their top source of information for farming.
Nyabon Enterprises Ltd. has developed a business model that centers on providing low-horsepower tractors and accompanying implements to smallholder farmers so they can effectively mechanize production and primary processing on their farms. The model combines farm mechanization with linkages to finance and markets, and it has seen paddy rice farmers enjoy significantly increased crop yields while keeping production costs low.
The automated credit-scoring system allows smallholder farmers to more easily access loans. The system enables savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCOs) and farmers’ organizations to access in real time farmers’ historical financial data and better determine their creditworthiness. So far, Amtech has reached 89,000 farmers, one-third of the farmers they have in their database. Amtech plans to mobilize the other two-thirds over the next two years.
Desert Control, a Norwegian start up company, has devised a new way of mixing clay and water so that when it is applied to sandy soil, it envelops each grain of sand and spreads the clay perfectly. Liquid Nano Clay (LNC) as it is called, turns the sand into a sponge-like fabric that retains water, thereby holding the nutrients much better. Consequently, crops receive more nutrients and yields improve.
Mechanized raised-bed (MRB) irrigation is a field-configuration technology that enhances water use efficiency in dryland conditions. This technology, along with improved crop varieties and agronomic practices, is part of a MRB production package that improves farm productivity and income. For wheat in Egypt, MRB led to an average 25 percent increase in yield, more than 60 percent increase in water productivity and about 20 percent in farming cost reduction.
Kumé is an IFAD-supported platform created by Fundación ACUA (Afro-descendant Cultural Assets Foundation). By commercializing gastronomic products and services that promote culture, traditional knowledge and local crops, ACUA enhances the visibility of rural Afro-descendant communities in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Through the platform, chefs in rural territories offer live online cooking classes for participants in major cities. Using traditional recipes, the chefs showcase their cultures, territories and traditional practices.
Ten years ago, community-based breeding programmes appeared as a pioneer solution for improving the genes of sheep and goat in low-input systems. CBBPs focus on building local capacity by training farmers, leading to sustained genetic improvement of indigenous breeds. The solution has made economically important genes more common, increased farmers’ income by 20 per cent and helped the community triple their consumption of animal source foods.
The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) promotes cactus pear as a crop that millions of farmers in semi-arid and dry areas can use to improve their nutrition and incomes. Cactus is a multifunctional crop, mitigating drought and combating desertification. In South Asia as well as Middle-East and North Africa (MENA), the cultivation of cactus pear increases the economic viability of small and medium-sized farms of low-income farmers
Supplemental irrigation provides higher and more stable yields, a lower risk of crop failure and much higher crop water productivity, which together significantly improve farmers' incomes. Supplemental irrigation helps mitigate inconsistent seasonal rainfall, which is intensifying because of climate change. Already, frequent droughts cause substantial crop losses.
When properly managed, conservation agriculture can benefit both farmers and the environment. Conservation agriculture refers to the use of technologies and practices that enhance crop productivity while improving resource-use efficiency and soil health. As an alternative to conventional tillage for rainfed drylands, it not only saves time and labour, but also conserves water and nutrients in the soil to make crop production more resilient to climate change.
The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) has developed high-yielding wheat varieties with resistance to extreme heat, drought, salinity, insect pests and diseases. The varieties have been adopted throughout Central and West Asia, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, areas highly vulnerable to climate change. This solution aims to enhance productivity, raise farmers’ incomes, create jobs and increase value addition by encouraging higher levels of wheat self-sufficiency.
VBAs help smallholder farmers improve their farm productivity by enhancing their access to both appropriate farm inputs and information on good agronomic practice. VBAs work with all willing farmers within a community, regardless of gender, age or social status. They believe in empowering farmers to learn by doing, providing small packets of inputs like seed and fertilizer for farmers to test on their own fields with little risk.
eHakiki is an e-verification solution for tracking genuine agricultural inputs. It helps smallholder farmers protect themselves from counterfeit and adulterated inputs that would hurt their incomes and food security. The innovation was devised by Quincewood, a Tanzanian mobile services company, in collaboration with the Tanzania Seed Certification Institute. eHakiki has reached more than 350,000 farmers.
To improve incomes from sheep fattening in rural Ethiopia, ICARDA took a new approach that leveraged youth as influencers to scale up adoption of improved sheep fattening technology and practices. Young people received a start-up package, participated in youth group trainings, were supported by a community of practice and disseminated their knowledge by organizing field days. This approach has continued in the communities despite the project ending. Thus, ICARDA continues to provide support and trainings to youth groups.
The reproductive platform aims to establish low-cost, low-infrastructure reproductive laboratories that transform breeding programs in Ethiopia by enhancing the management of reproductive cycles and genetic improvements to popular sheep and goat breeds. It reduces the risk that potentially unsuitable rams would be used for breeding and provides communities with new business opportunities.
By measuring levels of major nutrients like nitrogen, sodium and potassium, soil analysis allows farmers to gauge the appropriateness of growing a particular crop and adjust fertilizer use accordingly. However, because soil-scanning technology is costly and difficult to use, it is not widespread in Africa. AgroCares provides an inexpensive, easy-to-use scanner that helps farmers perform soil analyses on their farms, enabling them to manage soil health and increase their yields.
Most farmers have a problem with on time application of pesticide sprays owing to the lack of knowledge on how to scout for pests, how to determine the optimal time to spray, and a shortage of labor during certain periods of the cropping cycle. The use of drones increases spraying efficiency and reduces the turnaround times for applying crop protection.
Future Link Technologies (FLT) leverages the relevance and network of Savings and Credit Co-Operative Societies (SACCOs) to accelerate the adoption of digital financial services in rural farmer communities. These services enable farmers to grow their personal savings, access credit and make payments with ease and convenience.
Biofortified with zinc and iron to fight micronutrient malnutrition, varieties of lentils developed by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) mature in less than 100 days and fit well in cereal-based cropping systems. Lentils provide a protein-rich legume crop that can improve nutrition and strengthen rural livelihoods.
The Sustainable Rangeland Management (SRM) toolkit, tested in Tunisia, lays out a scalable, holistic and multidisciplinary approach for addressing the biophysical and socio-economic trade-offs among different land uses. The toolkit helps communities, policymakers and development actors apply key sustainable rangeland management practices to targeted regions. It can play a major role in achieving a neutral level of land degradation, increased forage production and enhanced ecosystem services.
Twiga Foods is improving Kenya’s agricultural market by helping address key economic issues: high food prices, food safety and the need for established, sustainable markets. Using a mobile-based platform through which vendors can buy their stock - instead of travelling to wholesale markets at 4.00am and haggling for goods - the Twiga solution allows vendors to access better quality produce at competitive prices from their cellphones, which are then delivered directly to their city shops and stalls. Twiga’s all-year-round aggregation of demand for fresh fruit and vegetables (FFV) serves to create a sustainable market for farmers.
Agrimech has identified a pressing need for an innovative business model thatoffers whole-value-chain mechanization services that are available, accessible,affordable, and accountable. The Agricultural Mechanization Services Hubenables farmers to access and hire holistic professional mechanization services in order to increase their production.Agrimech has identified a pressing need for an innovative business model thatoffers whole-value-chain mechanization services that are available, accessible,affordable, and accountable. The Agricultural Mechanization Services Hubenables farmers to access and hire holistic professional mechanization services in order to increase their production.