There are an estimated 500 million smallholder farming households globally, who represent a large proportion of the world’s poor, living on less than $2 a day. The well-being of these farmers is a critical element of a peaceful society as they must not be forgotten in conflict.
ISSUES FACING FARMERS
One of the most pressing issues facing smallholder farmers as they try to recover from war is how to rebuild a source of income that can sustain themselves and their families. With increased and stabilized incomes they will be given the ability to address their most pressing issues as they see fit. Here are some key areas that our farmers are able to address after we have improved their incomes:
Helping out the family business is a core part of the life of farming households. Yet many families can not not afforded the opportunity to attend school, contributing to a cycle of poverty. With improved incomes, the decision to send their children to school is no longer financially challenging.
Lack of access to affordable healthcare is a serious issue for many farmers. Due to a lack of funds, farming households are often faced with very difficult decisions on whether to pay for the healthcare of a sick or injured loved one or use that money for another pressing issue. With improved incomes, the farmers can have the funds needed to pay for the healthcare necessary to cure or treat many avoidable ailments.
For many farming households, a well-balanced diet is a luxury. Farmers who cannot afford available foods that are high in protein and other key nutrients suffer from developmental issues along with many other avoidable health issues. With improved incomes farmers can afford to buy the foods needed to balance out their health
FARMER INCOME IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
A lack of sufficient income is one of the most pressing issues facing smallholder farmers as they try to recover from war, one that impacts all facets of their lives. Here are some key areas that our farmers are able to address after we have helped improve their incomes:
Market Research: What crops offer high market demand, good pricing and a relatively stable future.
Nursery Development: Create a system offering high quality varietals identified during market research.
Production: Train farmers in environmentally friendly practices that will produce quality needed to satisfy market demand while maximizing yield.
Harvesting: Train farmers in proper harvesting techniques to preserve quality and maximize shelf life.
Post-Harvest Processing: Clear out undesirable material, prepare product for shipping.
Sorting and Grading: Separate the produce into different levels of quality allowing product quality to be matched with market, therefore maximizing price.
Packaging: Place produce into containers that preserve quality and in some cases promote brand.
Transportation: Maximize efficiency of trade routes to target markets.
Cold Chain: Setup refrigeration steps in supply chain from immediately after harvest until product reaches desired market to extend shelf life.
Trade Missions: Bring traders to target markets to help educate them on market demands and establish market connections.
New Market Establishment: Setup trade offices or connect traders to customs brokers, financing, potential buyers, etc.
Trade Shows: Market produce of country at a trade show to strengthen brand & build further market connections.