Speakers: Roberto Vega, Syngenta; Christine Condo, Sustainable Harvest; Brian Gleeson, Catholic Relief Services
Training and Service Delivery: Key to Successful Agriprenuers: A discussion of innovative and effective service delivery models that incentivize adoption of GAP and are effective in professionalizing smallholder agriculture.
Sustainable agriculture depends on farmers adopting the best practices in managing their crops, soils and agricultural inputs. Farmers depend on technology, training and services delivered by people and organizations they trust. Roberto Vega discussed Syngenta’s core business model and their Good Growth Plan goal to reach 20 million smallholders and 20 million farmworkers with agrochemicals and training on their use. Vega outlined the different types of training Syngenta uses, including: Farmer 2 Farmer – through sales force; the Lead Farmer Model and digital solutions. They are actively engaging a network of collaborators including Solidaridad, IDH and COLEACP to identify successful training models.
Brain Gleeson of Catholic Relief Services in Tanzania shared their work to incentivize smallholders to grow soy. Frequent communication with farmers, price transparency, and access to improved seed are critical factors in the program. CRS used a farmer segmentation approach to tailor training and services to different kinds of farmers at different level of readiness for practice adoption.
Sustainable Harvest coffee brought their experience in trialing an innovation, asset based approach they call Premium Sharing Rewards ®. They work with Rwandan female coffee farmers to teach farming practices and business management. Farmers in this program earn points that can be traded for assets like mattresses, livestock or a cellphone. The adoption rates and productivity gains have been high. Sustainable Harvest is scaling the program to 25,000 women and families in Rwanda and Congo.
- importance of fitting the training to the population – in terms of practices, delivery models and cultural fit. Having baseline data on the farmers informs an evidence based segmentation approach.
- turning progress into tangible assets and giving farmers recognition is a strong motivator, as seen in the Sustainable Harvest program
- need for third party validation of practice adoption in addition to farmer self-assessment