Leading image

Reducing risk and maximising revenues

In this issue

Interview

The role of data in sustainable farming systems

John Corbett from agricultural intelligence company, aWhere, explains the importance of ensuring that all stakeholders in agricultural value chains are kept informed with up-to-date farming and weather data.

Dossier
News

Community-based farming

Smallholder farmers are receiving tailored training and financial advice from a social enterprise that guarantees them a good market price for their seed. Expanding to work with over 5,000 small-scale farmers, the company is training a cohort of extension workers to help farmers profit from the international seed industry.

Analysis

Agriculture and agribusiness remain key

Responsible investments in the rural and agricultural economy, value chains and integrated markets play a crucial role in fostering economic growth, job creation and development in African countries. These critical issues have been the subject of recent meetings in Rome and will form a key component of the forthcoming EU-Africa summit to be held in November 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Analysis

Secondary towns – hives of activity and growth

Recognition of the importance and vitality of secondary towns is very recent. These dynamic commercial hubs provide rural areas with markets and opportunities for young people, whilst urbanisation and stronger rural-urban linkages are offering new and value added markets for farmers and entrepreneurs in fresh and processed foods.

Analysis

Financing agribusiness for sustainable development

Enterprise challenge funds in Africa are matching grant funding with agribusinesses that have the potential to grow and create impact for rural populations. By mitigating against market risk, challenge funds are boosting the development of investable and sustainable businesses.

News

Indian Ocean fisherfolk come together

Stakeholders in the Indian Ocean fisheries sector are collaborating to promote the sustainable management of marine resources and improve livelihoods for artisanal fishermen, facilitating their access to international markets and value adding processing technology.

News

Caribbean condiment exports heat up

From sweet preserves to spicy sauces, regional condiment agro-processers are investing in certification and standardisation in order to sustainably enter the highly developed international ethnic and gourmet export markets.

News

Innovation for food safety

A low-cost, low-tech innovation measuring food dryness is preventing the development of mould in stored crops in Tanzania, and improving the quality and nutritional value of smallholder produce. In Cameroon, moisture-testing machines are enabling cocoa farmers to demand higher prices for their beans at the market.

News

Fast-cooking yam couscous

Benin-based food company, Fenou Foods, has invented Wassa-Wassa Tchigan – a tasty, nutritious, pre-cooked, dried yam couscous that has slashed preparation time from half a day to just 15 minutes.

News

Nutritional wheat flour substitute

Increasing demand for nutritionally beneficial bread made with orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) puree is helping to combat vitamin A deficiency in Africa, whilst growing a profitable market for bakers and OFSP farmers.

Issue

Big data and climate insurance

Increasingly accessible agricultural data is facilitating the scaling out of index-based insurance schemes and helping farmers build resilience and adapt to climate change.

Analysis

A pathway towards agricultural adaptation and resilience

Closing the gap in agricultural data available to smallholder farmers and financial institutions in developing countries is essential for the agricultural sector to build resilience and adapt to climate change. Without accurate farming and weather data, smallholder farmers struggle to prepare for unpredictable climate events and tend to prioritise managing risk over maximising revenues.

Field report

EcoFarmer: bundling information and financial services

Zimbabwe’s mobile network, Econet Wireless, is providing farmers with micro-insurance to cover crops and inputs against damage due to poor weather. The EcoFarmer subscription platform offers farmers a package of mobile phone delivered services to increase their productivity and mitigate risk.

News

Getting a grip on the environment

In Niger, daily access to reliable climate information, by using solar mobile telephones, radios and rain gauges, is allowing semi-nomadic populations to make better use of natural resources.

News

Boosting farmers’ resilience in Malawi

The cultivation of low-cost vegetable gardens is helping Malawian households to diversify their diets, reduce reliance on maize and improve their resilience to the changing climate whilst also making savings in time and money.

News

A sea change for local fisheries in Benin

Benin-based Awa Fish is one of the leading frozen seafood firms, a position it has established by working closely with its suppliers – small-scale fishermen. But like many companies, it finds it hard to raise funds and faces recurring power cuts.

News

Strengthening Caribbean fisherfolk participation

The small-scale fisheries sector in the Caribbean plays a vital role in the region’s food security but is overshadowed by marine industries including shipping, tourism, and oil and gas extraction. An EU-funded initiative is providing a stronger voice to fisherfolk to advocate their needs.

News

Improving agronomic and business skills for sesame

In Tanzania, sesame farmers are receiving training in the agronomic and business skills they need to sell better quality produce at a higher price. Mobile phones are also being used as learning tools to deliver timely and convenient information to smallholders.