News / Africa

Smallholder Farmers Conference Focuses on Value Chain

Bichera Ntamwinsa, 23, picks berries from her coffee plants in Bukavu, DRC. Farmer field schools and agricultural cooperatives can help smallholder farmers gain skills while strengthening their common voice. (UNESCO/Tim Dirven)Bichera Ntamwinsa, 23, picks berries from her coffee plants in Bukavu, DRC. Farmer field schools and agricultural cooperatives can help smallholder farmers gain skills while strengthening their common voice. (UNESCO/Tim Dirven)
x
Bichera Ntamwinsa, 23, picks berries from her coffee plants in Bukavu, DRC. Farmer field schools and agricultural cooperatives can help smallholder farmers gain skills while strengthening their common voice. (UNESCO/Tim Dirven)
Bichera Ntamwinsa, 23, picks berries from her coffee plants in Bukavu, DRC. Farmer field schools and agricultural cooperatives can help smallholder farmers gain skills while strengthening their common voice. (UNESCO/Tim Dirven)

Multimedia

Audio
Kim Lewis
Smallholder farmers will be the focus of an international conference taking place in Addis Ababa this week.  The event, “Making the Connection: Value Chains for Transforming Smallholder Agriculture,” is expected to draw over 400 participants from around the world. They will gather together for the week-long conference to share examples of what new agricultural techniques are working in the developing world.

Michael Hailu is director of the Technical Center for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, CTA, based in the Netherlands. Speaking from Addis Ababa, Hailu said that since the 2007-2008 global economic crisis a lot of interest has been shown in boosting agricultural production in developing countries.  He said this conference will focus on improving the value chain of the smallholder farmer.

“The goal of this conference is to bring together people from around the world who are working on improving agricultural value chains.  The whole idea is to facilitate how smallholder farmers in developing countries can be integrated into global and regional markets, so that they can get better value for their produce,” explained Hailu.

Hailu said while improving productivity is very critical, that by itself is not enough to sustain the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. 

“If farmers are not very well integrated into market, they can produce sometimes excess products that could be spoiled because there is not a direct access to market.  They can’t sell it easily,” said Hailu, who went on to say, “the whole approach to value chain is to make sure that farmers can produce to meet specific demands.  And they will have a clear and well-articulated market that they could sell to.”

Hailu said the smallholder farmers make up the majority of farmers in Africa and other parts of the developing world.  They are responsible for producing about 80 percent of what is generated in developing countries.  They are mostly family farms that produce for their own families, but also take a certain amount of excess to market.

Hailu also pointed out that most of the food produced in Africa is produced by smallholder farmers who are women.

To listen to the entire interview, please click on audio.

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid