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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid