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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.