Transforming smallholder agriculture

One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?

Many of the posts on this blog talk about smallholder farmers, commonly characterised as farmers who own or farm plots of land smaller than two hectares. Four-fifths of the developing world’s food is a product of small-sized farms, as estimated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and yet some 50% of the world’s hungry are smallholders. Because of the size of their landholdings and thus resource base, smallholder farmers are often disproportionately affected by shocks and stresses such as food price volatility, poor health and climate change. They often live in rural areas where links to markets, financial services and information is poor. But given access to such services, smallholder farmers have a great deal of potential to feed themselves, their households and the rest of the world.

ID-10071315Smallholder farmers, however, are not a homogenous group. Some may be largely subsistence while others have the potential to…

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How attracting African Youths to Agriculture and Agric Business will reduce Youth unemployment!

Kalu Samuel's Blog

Young African Farmer

Young African Farmer


There have been several calls on the need for African youths to remain in the rural areas instead of migrating to cities in search of elusive opportunities, especially as youth unemployment reaches alarming levels across the continent.

One way of addressing this big problem is coming up with strategic interventions to attract the youths to the agricultural sector. In order to achieve this, agriculture must be transformed from purely subsistence to commercial farming, where farmers undertake agriculture as a business that helps them earn enough income to prosper.

Agriculture development practitioners, policy makers, the private sector, agricultural government agencies and other professional must articulate a new vision of agriculture that can be attractive to the young people and align with their aspirations and interests.

The first step is to change the image and perceptions about agriculture in the face of the…

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Aspirations of the Niche: Agro-Tourism



Tech4agri is proud to feature a local business in the agro tourism niche: Grande Agro Tourism

“Grande Agro Tourism Ltd is a traditional cocoa estate located in the area of Sangre Grande, Trinidad.  Visitors will be given an opportunity to tour the cocoa house, cocoa field, nature trails and experience a day of fun and relaxation with friends, family and others who want to keep Trinidad’s cocoa alive.”

The agribusiness has been making strides to improve youth involvement in agriculture by hosting it’s first ever Cocoa Camp for children and teens ages 5- 16 for 2013 the July/August vacation period on its estate. Young persons will receive a hands on experience of nature, agriculture and value added activities in agro processing.

To learn more of this striving business and the noble efforts of the owner and staff click the VIDEO link above.

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Overheard at Africa Agriculture Science Week, in Accra

ILRI Clippings

Entrance to Africa Agriculture Science Week

Entrance to FARA’s 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6), in Accra, Ghana, 15-20 Jul 2013 (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

The following remarks were noted by members of the delegation of 22 staff of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) who participated in the sixth Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW6), ‘Africa Feeding Africa’, organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and held in Accra, Ghana, 15–20 Jul 2013.

  • Africa is the final frontier for agriculture.
    — Dyborn Chibonga, CEO of the National Smallholders’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM)
  • Our agricultural systems today are under-performing but have huge potential to double or triple yields.
  • Infrastructure and market links can make all the difference for farmers waiting for economic opportunities.
  • Development is not something we do for others; it is something we do for ourselves.
  • We produce enough food to feed every child, woman and man on the planet.
  • 50% of Africa’s agricultural…

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Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW)

Blog with Bijesh Mishra

Call for Outline Research Proposals

Generating evidence on women’s economic empowerment, gender equality and growth in low-income countries 

The Department for International Development (DfID), The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) are pleased to announce the jointly-funded research initiative Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW).Deadline: October 25, 2013 at 4:59 EDT (Ottawa time)

The GrOW research program aims to strengthen the evidence base to inform social and economic policies that enhance women’s economic empowerment, close gender gaps, and simultaneously promote economic growth. The ultimate goal is to enhance economic outcomes and opportunities for poor women in low-income countries. GrOW focuses on women’s economic empowerment — in labour markets, entrepreneurship, and the care economy — and the connections between women’s economic empowerment, gender equality, and patterns of economic growth in low-income contexts.

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Markets for GIS in Ghana-Research evidence


Farmers leaders_Ghana

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an integrated collection of computer software and data used to view and manage information about geographic places, analyze spatial relationships and model spatial processes. GIS provides a framework for gathering and organizing spatial data and related information so that it can be displayed and analyzed.
In Ghana, Syecomp Business Services Ltd has been providing spatial decision support systems for smallholder farmers whose commodity focus is on high value export horticulture products: Pineapple, Mango, Papaya, Cashew, Vegetables and Banana and food crop farms as well: Citrus, Tomato, Onion, Maize.
Research need
Syecomp Business Services Ltd is an established market leader in the provision of agricultural technical support in Geographic Information Systems/ Global Positioning Systems (GIS/GPS) use training, survey and mapping for smallholder producer groups in Ghana. Support for smallholder producer groups to become organic and/or GlobalGAP certified as a means of enhancing their competitiveness on…

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Youth Support in Agriculture, Important in our time…My story

Kalu Samuel's Blog

In most developing countries of the world, Agriculture is regarded as a low class profession. Children often want to become engineers, Doctors, Lawyers, and so on, but only few want to become farmers. Even those who want to be farmers are mostly discouraged by their parents who fear they will not get a good job after school; this however wasn’t the case with me as for several years I have been involved in one way or the other in farming.

Once I started learning my right from left, I can still remember my parents taking me to the farm on the weekends, we would leave every early in the morning and stay there until close to noon. Doing various agricultural farm practices by ourselves, from bush clearing/burning to making of heaps/mounds/bed to planting (the part I always enjoyed). I always love planting corn/maize (even up till now) and as I…

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