Mapping and analysis of the process to inform and validate the capacity gaps identified by NCA.
Associates was recently engaged by the Norwegian Church Aid to conduct capacity needs assessment of the smallholder farmers and extension regarding their competency in oil seeds value chain development. The mapping and analysis was part of the process to inform and validation the capacity gaps that were earlier on identified by NCA.
The Churches Action in Relief and Development(CARD) with support from the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) is implementing an Economic Empowerment project in Mchinji. The project is piloting the cooperative approach, which focuses on farmers grouped together as opposed to individual farmers to promote product aggregation. The Rent-an-Service (RaS) Model is being piloted for smallholder farmers beyond the primary beneficiaries. RaS is a Non-Traditional Finance service, which aims at providing affordable access to machinery and equipment to the targeted farmers at a minimal fee. The RaS idea emerged to address the major challenge of limited value addition due to lack of access to value addition equipment or processing equipment. The theory of change under economic empowerment envisages that the project in Malawi will contribute to the overall goal of “securing entrepreneurial opportunities and sustainable employment for Malawian youth and women”. While the initial pathway to achieving this change was through vocational and entrepreneurial interventions, there is a paradigm shift in the project pathway whereby value chain development is a new focus for economic empowerment. It is anticipated that the focus on value chain development will lead to increase in profits for rights’ holders in Malawi and precisely smallholder farmers in Mchinji.
This manual is available for use by NCA funded initiatives and any other smallholder farmers oil seeds value chain development initiatives in Malawi that have sustainable commercial enterprises for smallholder agriculture as their core focus. This Manual has been developed specifically for Extension Workers/Frontline Staff working as Trainers of Trainers(ToTs) who are tasked to build the smallholder farmers’ capacity in agribusiness enterprises especially oil seeds value chain development upon which issues pertaining to transport, aggregation, storage and value addition are tackled in a practical approach. The manual can also be used by agribusiness training institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and independent consultants aiming at improving the planning and business management skills of smallholder producers in value addition investments.