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Thursday, 08 November 2012

Turning smallholding into big business

Climate change, urbanisation, and population growth pose a challenging set of circumstances for food production. It is estimated that there are 500 million smallholder agricultural producers in the world, with some estimates as high as 800 million. These farmers will play an important role in meeting growing challenges, aided by increasingly savvy business models.
As delegates from around the world gather in Addis Ababa for the conference 'Making the Connection: Value Chains for Transforming Smallholder Agriculture', a consensus is emerging over the need for a new mindset in which agriculture is seen as a business opportunity.
Financial management, marketing and business skills are all needed. New partnerships are necessary to strengthen the business models of smallholder farmers. NGOs, often seen as public sector agents, are increasingly delivering business management services through coaching programmes, and providing simplified and relevant tuition.  A range of private sector players are emerging to provide business management advice. Large companies also need to change how they look at the smallholders' place in the production chain.

Source: This is Africa