Small scale farmers
Small scale farmers

Linking small-scale farmers to formal markets

Ellanie Smit
The Namibian Agronomic Board’s (NAB) database indicates that 500 out of the 800 registered producers are small-scale farmers in the northern communal areas (NCAs).

This is according to NAB’s latest newsletter, which says that the average size of land for a small-scale producer measures less than one hectare, and only a few producers increase their planting areas over time to not more than three hectares.

"Approximately 70% of vegetable products produced by small-scale producers are sold in the informal market and only 30% enter the formal market," according to the NAB.

It says that despite the implementation of the Namibian horticulture market share promotion (MSP) scheme, the intervention mainly created market opportunities for medium- and large-scale producers who are more willing to conform to the formal market requirements in terms of volume and quality-related factors.

The scheme was introduced in 2005 to protect local producers from cheap horticulture imports and to create market access opportunities for all local producers.

“Hence, small-scale horticulture producers experience more challenges in supplying the formal market and conforming to the formal market specifications and requirements.”

Creating market access

A pilot project implemented by the NAB is aimed at developing the horticulture value chain by linking small-scale horticulture producers to formal markets.

The project will run for five years and focus on grooming small-scale producers in the NCA through awareness programmes aimed at educating them on the benefits of conforming to the formal market specifications.

The project further aims at creating an enabling environment for small-scale producers to upscale their production and market their products to registered traders in their production zones.

The NAB says that this is anticipated to contribute toward the goal of achieving 60% MSP by 2025.

The pilot project targets three production areas in the NCAs: the north-central, Kavango and Zambezi production zones.

Project beneficiaries will be capacitated through technical support such as soil sampling and analysis, crop husbandry practices, marketing of produce and financial management.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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