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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid