The Smallholder Farmer Training Programme: Helping farmers adapt and thrive
Our Smallholder Farmer Training Programme aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of smallholder farmers, improving their productivity, income and income security.
This project provides both theoretical and practical agricultural training at purpose-built local demonstration centres. Successful farmers are then given access to micro-loans, helping them to achieve:
- Improved yields (following training in animal husbandry, fruit and vegetable growing and staple crops)
- Improved record keeping
- Improved household income security
- Greater food security and improved nutrition (by growing and consuming a wider variety of foods - particularly vegetables - and by participating in health awareness training)
- Improved communication and collaboration between farmers, enhancing the spread of knowledge through the wider community
- Open access to an ongoing training resource for the benefit of the wider community
- Improved animal husbandry
Progress To date
To date, 125 farmers in Managhat have benefited from the Smallholder Farmer Training Programme, with 50 more due to start training in October 2017 .
In 2017, the programme was expanded into the Waangwaray and Malangi Communities, where groups of 35 and 40 farmers respectively are receiving training.
Group A's profit has increased by 28% over two years, while Group B's profit will be known in early 2018.
To read the latest report from the Managhat Programme, please click HERE.
In October 2016, we met with farmers from Group B who had finished their training. The results were extremely promising, with farmers reporting the following:
- Farmers acknowledged they had improved skills and knowledge about new agricultural techniques. This was resulting in further improvements to their production and farm management.
- The farmers increased their engagement with a wider variety of crops, particularly root vegetables.
- Many reported a significant increase in the amount of vegetables they were growing, as well as the amount of fruit and vegetables they were eating on a regular basis.
- The programme significantly impacted the farmers' incomes, helping them pay for schooling costs, home improvements, and even adding new rooms. There was also an increase in entrepreneurial investment in livestock.
Overall, the Smallholder Farmer Training Programme has been extremely well received by farmers to date. Farmers also value the forum for peer learning and group support that this model creates.