Transforming Smallholder Agriculture
February 02, 2015
The Guardian highlights TechnoServe’s innovative work with smallholder farmers and explores the role of for-profit companies in supporting agriculture in the developing world.
Smallholder farmers across the developing world face enormous obstacles that prevent them from earning a reliable income. A new report by Acumen and Bain & Co. points to the critical role of entrepreneurial companies, or “pioneer firms,” in providing market-based solutions to help these farmers address challenges such as lack of access to information, credit and technology.
In a piece for the Guardian, journalist Sarah Shemkus looks at the different solutions that these companies and facilitating organizations like TechnoServe provide to smallholders. She highlights in particular TechnoServe’s innovative work with soy and poultry farmers in Mozambique:
Five years ago, Mozambique’s poultry farmers had to import almost all the soy they used to feed their birds. There simply weren’t enough domestic growers cultivating the crop.
Washington DC-based nonprofit TechnoServe stepped in. Playing matchmaker between soy-seeking poultry producers and small-scale farmers looking to expand their businesses, it helped provide technical instruction and seed supplies to participating growers. In total, the project got 30,000 new smallholder farmers growing and selling soy, said Brent Habig, TechnoServe’s regional director for west and southern Africa.
“It was a large-scale transformation of smallholder agriculture in Mozambique,” he said.
The article further highlights TechnoServe's work linking cocoa farmers in West Africa with small businesses and local banks to improve their access to credit, fertilizers and other inputs.
Read more in the Guardian.
Related Blog Posts
How Access to Finance is Helping Rural Women Entrepreneurs Improve their Incomes and Status in India
Indu Devi made her living producing fox nut snacks, but cultural gender norms held her and other women entrepreneurs back from business success. With access to formal financing and business training, she's integrated her enterprise into a profitable snack company.
Olga Velasquez is TechnoServe’s Monitoring and Evaluation Manager for the Better Coffee Harvests Program in Central America. For International Women’s Day, we talked with her about her experience as a woman at TechnoServe, and why good data is important for creating stronger, more gender-inclusive coffee economies.
In India, the world's largest producer of cotton, women farmers are training in farming, business, and digital savings skills that are helping them to increase their incomes and decision-making power, both on the farm and at home.