Norwegian Church Aid

Lifting one million smallholder farmers permanently out of poverty

Agriculture

Through ‘Micro Investing’, farmers move from subsistence agriculture to commercial farming and enter a growth path that matches their country’s need for nutritious food.

View Project Website

Lead Organization

Norwegian Church Aid

Oslo, Oslo County, Norway

http://www.nca.no

Top Lead Organization Funders:

Take Action

Connect with us

To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

In Malawi, more than 50% of its 18.1 million population lives under the poverty line [3]. Before the end of this century, the population is projected quadruple and deforestation is already critical. It is paramount to deploy solutions that dramatically increase productivity in agriculture.Our scalable solution addresses poverty, malnutrition, and economic development bottom-up. The village-by-village intervention has two key components; an Investment Kit and Agronomist Support. The Kit contains a drip irrigation system for horticulture, agri inputs, and knowhow in one affordable package. It has been tested with 6000 farmers and proven to help smallholder farmers lift themselves out of poverty in less than a year. By approaching smallholders as investors, we invoke a mindset that leads to rapid adoption of technology and practice that allow them to transition from subsistence farming to commercial farming on a fully market-based growth path.

Problem Statement

In Malawi, as in other African countries, a majority of the population are food producers that struggle to feed their own family. Due to malnutrition, 37% of children under five are stunted [1]. More than 50% of the population lives under the poverty line [3]. The small amount of money they earn – typically from a yearly harvest of maize or tobacco – is not enough to escape poverty.The country’s population of 18.1 million is increasing rapidly. Before the end of this century, the population is projected to surpass 75 million [2]. To provide food security only ten years from now requires close to a doubling of food production compared to 2015. Deforestation and loss of biodiversity is already critical, and additional pressure from agriculture must be avoided. It is paramount to deploy scalable solutions for dramatically increasing productivity in agriculture.Measured by GDP per capita of $389, Malawi is the third poorest country in the world [3]. Self-employed or unpaid family workers aged 15-64 constitute 71% of the rural labour force (2018 Census). The vicious circle of extreme poverty, food insecurity, population growth, climate change vulnerability, and weak economic development has one stakeholder at its core, the smallholder farmer. The typical food producer is at the same time the typical consumer in Malawi. The ‘hungry farmer paradox’ is what needs to be solved; a huge workforce – skilled, very hard-working and ready to serve a huge food market – is imprisoned by poverty.

Solution Overview

Our solution addresses poverty, malnutrition, and economic development bottom-up. Our focus is on the smallholders’ profitability and their transition from subsistence farming to commercial farming. Our village-by-village intervention has two key components; an Investment Kit and Agronomist Support with near real-time performance management.The Investment Kit contains a drip irrigation system for horticulture, agri inputs, and knowhow in one affordable package ($12). It has been tested with 6000 farmers to minimize the risk of failure. Faced with an investment decision, the farmers enter a mindset where their land, water, skills and work capacity constitute the foundation of a prosperous future – not external aid. The “kit” is merely a supplement from modern agriculture that increase their productivity fivefold or more, making reinvestment for more capacity compelling.Agronomists engage in a “clockwork of activities”: The Investment Kits are promoted through site visits and village meetings that establish a reliable and predictable service to groups of up to 20 farmers. Commercial suppliers and off-takers are introduced to prepare a gradual handover from NGO-led intervention after 12-24 months.The packaged solution with its support services are designed to generate continuous income without relying on post-processing and complex value chains. Starting with one single vegetable bed, farmers can build a market garden that offer crops suitable for local consumption. The local market is the main growth opportunity, since over 84% of the population is rural. Growing a variety of nutritious vegetables allow for specialization and rapid adaptation to local market needs.

+ Read More

Project Funders

  • Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tanzania 2019
  • World Food Programme

More Solutions Like This

Highly Ranked

Agriculture

Mercy Corps

Transforming small-scale farming in the face of climate change

Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar

Highly Ranked

Agriculture

Heifer Project International

Soil to Space: Leveraging Water to Bridge the Food Gap

Honduras, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Highly Ranked

Agriculture

Sistema.bio

Sistema.bio: Supporting Smallholder Farmers as Climate, Food, and Economic Leaders

Colombia, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda

Agriculture

Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia

Peace, development and a sustainable future through coffee in Colombia

Colombia

Agriculture

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Leave no farmer behind: Revolutionizing Digital Agricultural Extension in Africa

Colombia, Kenya, Mexico, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda

Agriculture

Intertribal Agriculture Council

Sustainably Financing Indian Country Agriculture and Food System Development

United States

Agriculture

Gvk Emergency Management and Research Institute

Technology enabled Mobile Animal Health Services in Uttar Pradesh

India

Agriculture

Kare Hi-Tech Engineering Limited

Recovery and Livelihood Program in the Lake Chad Basin

Nigeria

Agriculture

Centre for Collective Development

Making 100 million small farmers prosperous

India

Load More