At Business for Development, we see technology as a vehicle to propel and accelerate farmers out of rural poverty towards a new horizon of sustainable livelihoods. We analyse the entire system to see how technology can lead to better outcomes. We apply both a digital approach to farm management and the use of modern agriculture technologies, to improve yield and meet market demand.
Like all farmers, smallholders need high net returns and acceptable risks, all achievable with good inputs in consideration of the farmer’s financial and agronomic context. However, smallholders often face both financial and geographical barriers to access these inputs. Business for Development works to get the balance right. For example, introducing quality seed and providing farmers with the necessary support, such as providing access to low interest credit.
Fertile Soil is an escalating problem with it being lost at an approximate rate of 24 billion tons a year. Soil conservation technologies can be cheap, simple and effective. At Business for Development, we have implemented the following soil management techniques for smallholders: mechanised land preparation, contour ploughing, ripping, up-slope terracing, grass strips for soil health, and shallow retention ditches. To learn more about our approach, read this blog on Straightforward Soil Solutions for Smallholders.
All the above techniques can also help smallholders improve their resilience towards environmental shocks, such as climate change.
Integrated Farm Management refers to an interrelated system of enterprises that use the “waste” from one commodity to become an input for another part of the system. This improves productivity and net returns. Since it utilises waste as a resource, farmers not only eliminate waste, but they also ensure an overall increase in productivity for the whole farming system and become more self-sufficient.