Hi Martha! Thank you for building up! I have liked really the other way you have approached it. That's great idea too! It is time up we face real challenges from the front line neither from the opposite sides nor the back. We shall continue to be in collaboration. Regards, Godfrey Obua.
Hi Sai, Thank you very much for the wise observations. We totally agree with you and it is very certain that we could not have attempted to impose a new idea on the poor community in a way of intervening in the urgent and needy situations. As these would require them to learn all over again, how it would work out, how they would benefit and sustain, including what they would benefit from the new idea. Which would be somewhat not only a longer way of supporting the already critical condition, but also more expensive than this, which is rather a straight forward support, lost cost for existing ideas, that need only improvements here and there, starting from for example, the techniques of improving yields such as, adding farm inputs, grading, storage techniques, increasing incomes by widening markets through market contacts, contract farming, protecting and maintain good environment by save and grow approaches and more. We have some experience of these from a few farmers who are making very remarkable progress. By scaling this approach would enable us to achieve sustainable rural development and reduce poverty, human suffering and conserve the environment as well. In addition, training in better farming practices is a participatory approach to agricultural development, building on local knowledge and innovation, stimulates creativity, enhances productivity and strengthens the role of farmers in policy-making process. We shall be collaborating throughout the project implementation, should we happen to be selected for funding, through sharing every success stories from the beneficiaries, after every season, which is about twice a year, since we have two seasons in year in almost ¾ of this region. So feel free then to ask questions, make comments, and give your advice as you would feel like to. Let’s make the best use of sharing knowledge, collaborating on OpenIDEO platform to improve livelihoods. Looking forward to collaborating more. Thank you for your time. Regards, Godfrey Obua
Hi Martha, Thank you for your time. Exactly, that is right, developing agriculture is the most useful option for uplifting the poor out of poverty for most developing countries, I think. We welcome very much your collaboration with us and also hope to receive useful support from you for our project to enable it to reach a wider audiences. We are using this approach because, we see that it would be much easier to improve and develop communities from their own ideas or initiatives than to introduce a totally new project that may not be relevant and sustainable after the life of the project. Thus, this project helps in ensuring food security, providing jobs, incomes and growth, thus reducing poverty and supporting rural development/ transformation. In all entrepreneurship is key to success for smallholder farmers. Support for smallholder agriculture is increasingly important, both to boost productivity during food crisis and to raise the incomes of rural poor people. However, in order to maximize the potential of agricultural investment, NGOs and other development organizations need to act as facilitators of multi-stakeholder processes that establish new types of farmer organization; to create alliances to influence policy and investment; to propose new business models; and to develop innovative ways of delivering market services, with the aim of empowering smallholder farmers to improve their own livelihoods, and this will help NGOs build their capacity to identify the most strategic pathways and leaders for change, while working with small farmers as the key agents. The Pathways to achieving change include: influencing policy and investment decisions; linking smallholders into markets and value chains; and devising new approaches to service provision for small farmers, including identifying and managing risks, promoting equitable livelihoods, and encouraging and developing rural women’s economic leadership. The overall approach is inclusive, transparent, and critical, and includes an analysis of challenges faced, and farmers’ field schools. No one recommends big plantations and capitalist model for agriculture in Africa. It is clear that such a model would not solve problems of jobs and poverty for hundreds of millions of families. What is needed is a transition from subsistence agriculture to commercial or business farming. Farming is often commercial on a very small-scale, for there are few household farms that sell nothing at all. What distinguishes a so-called ‘modern’ business farm is that it uses various production factors such as capital, paid labour and land. Farms are managed like businesses, with costs, revenues and profits all carefully calculated. In this respect it is entirely possible that a household farm can become an agribusiness. For change to happen, small-scale farmers need training to improve both output-increase productivity and quantities produced, and marketing-identify markets, prices and profitable sectors. They also need to engage in processing products when they become fully operational to obtain added value. Agribusinesses can also be created by entrepreneurs who set up farms and manage them using hired labour to work them or by distance owners who only want the revenue. They supply urban centres with fruits, vegetables, fish and poultry. To make investments viable, it is important to ensure economic planning, for example, training to improve yields and increase quantity, and financial planning- example savings by group (cooperatives), credit and capital investment. A farmer needs to know how to carry out technico-economic diagnosis, evaluate profitability, plan financing requirements and organize work (labour requirements, costs, etc.) Training is needed for all these skills but often it is only available through projects or local NGOS. From shared research experience, we conducted between 2006 and 2013 in sub- Saharan Africa indicates that the strategy should focus on small scale farms as source of employment for the rapidly increasing younger generation. We shall be grateful to your collaboration and we also take this opportunity to thank OpenIDEO platform for making us collaborate for livelihoods improvement of the poor in our communities.
Thank you and looking forward to collaborating more. Regards, Godfrey Obua.