Smallholder Farming

The challenge

It is widely recognised that the world is facing four interrelated development challenges: food security, water security, energy security and the impact of climate change.

The growth in global population (from 7.4 billion today to 8.5 billion by 2030, and potentially to around 10 billion by 2050) places a significant burden on food security, not only in terms of the volume required, but also the composition of the food basket, as rising income levels and urbanisation in emerging markets are reflected in the growing demand for protein.

The role of smallholder farmers

A significant share of global agriculture, notably in Africa and Asia, is small in scale. The sustainability of smallholder farmers is therefore key to meeting the food security challenges of both the present and the future.

The sustainable commercialisation of smallholder farming activities is seen by many as an important opportunity for the economic transformation of rural communities and a significant step in the pathway towards poverty alleviation. The development of economically, socially and environmentally viable agribusiness through appropriate investment and intervention can result in improved farm incomes and livelihoods, lower relative food prices, improved food security and the creation of jobs, both on and off-farm.

Appropriate targets for intervention and investment include:

  • Fostering an enabling environment through the development of social infrastructure, inclusive institutional frameworks, knowledge transfer and public/private/community partnerships;
  • Integration of economic and agricultural development initiatives and development of the value chain including strategies for access to market, funding sources, aggregation of farmers for purchasing power and collective supply agreements; and
  • Technology and innovation to mitigate climate change and resource scarcity while improving productivity and social, economic and environmental sustainability.

What we offer

Booker Tate has a wide range of experience in this field and can offer the following areas of expertise based on a long history of commercialising smallholder farmer organisations:

  • Economic, social and technical evaluation of smallholder farmer schemes;
  • The integration of independent farmers into commercial agribusiness;
  • Development and management of institutional frameworks for public/private/smallholder farmer partnerships;
  • Optimising social infrastructure for integrated project design;
  • Research and development, training, knowledge transfer and extension services;
  • Strategic diversification (including crops for food security), enhanced sustainability of cropping systems and climate-smart farming; and
  • Smallholder farmer project funding models and sources of funding.

Our smallholder farmer experience

Our experience includes the evaluation, establishment and integration of successful smallholder farmer schemes in Papua New Guinea (Ramu Agri-Industries Limited), Zambia (Kaleya Smallholders), Uganda (Kinyara Sugar Works Ltd), Mozambique (Massingir Agro-Industrial), Swaziland (Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation), Belize (Belize Sugar Industries Limited), and Kenya (Mumias Sugar Company).

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