Environment and Sustainable Agriculture
In Mozambique 3,800,000 small-scale farmers support the livelihoods of around 25,000,000 people, which accounts for approximately 80% of the population. The majority of small-scale farmers apply traditional farming techniques, and they lack technical assistance, basic infrastructure and face limited access to markets. In recent years their situation has been further exacerbated by climate change impacts, including droughts, flooding and the increased occurrence of extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones. The result is that their productivity is low, post-harvest losses are high and as a result food security is undermined.
Subsistence agriculture – which is the predominant form of farming in Mozambique – rarely evolves to an economically viable option for extra income. This, in turn, perpetuates the vicious cycle of poverty in rural areas and makes the country’s food security highly volatile.
To respond to these challenges, ADPP Mozambique has adopted an innovative approach to assist farmers, the “Farmers’ Clubs” model, developed by HUMANA People to People, designed to support small and medium-sized farmers in transforming agriculture, and also other food chain such as fisheries, into competitive and sustainable sectors that increase food security and the income of rural households in Mozambique.
The approach empowers small scale farmers by organising them into groups (clubs), providing regular training and run practical field demonstrations followed up by systematic coaching by ADPP instructors during the course of the programme. The model is flexible and adaptable to local conditions. The clubs enable farmers to work together to address the array of challenges they face, including promoting gender equality in farming, building capacity for sustainable agriculture practices, training small holder farmers to migrate from subsistence to commercial farming. The model also strengthens farmers’ access to markets and finance.
The goal of the Farmers’ Clubs is to equip farmers with the skills and knowledge needed to adopt various sustainable farming techniques. Key amongst these are ‘Conservation Agriculture Techniques’ that improve soil and environmental management and utilization, mitigate the impact of climate change and the negative effects of global warming to ensure food security now and in the future.
Farmers are also trained in improving domestic storage facilities and small-scale processing of agricultural products. ADPP’s approach to agribusiness and market linkages includes awareness raising and empowerment of farmers in all aspects of the agricultural value chain and market.
The first Farmers’ Clubs project was launched in Mozambique in 2004. ADPP has since implemented the programme in various regions of the country with a number of selected partners and has reached total of about 33,000 small scale farmers including producers and fishermen.
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