The inability for rural poor smallholder farmers to access markets for their produce is the main underlying challenge that keeps every single farmer in our region in extreme poverty. Farmers have no access to markets beyond village level, yet everyone is very poor, and no local demand exists. To put it plainly, it is hard for a farmer to think of a crop that they believe, if they were to grow it at scale, would lift them from poverty.
This not only guarantees incomes below the poverty line, but also means, an already impoverished farmer can’t produce beyond a certain point, and can’t scale. We really believe this could change if rural farmers are linked with agri-value chains, e.g. in the food and beverage industry. Our goal therefore is to develop an agro-processing plant that shall ensure exactly that, and thus create new markets for our produce. Details.
Meanwhile, as we raise support for our intended plant, the only crop for which we can secure a ready market for our produce at scale, right now, is sorghum. But please note: our sorghum project, too, is still at its establishment phase, so our operational costs are a little high because, for instance, we are providing all farmers with inputs (such as tarpaulins) that we wouldn’t otherwise have provided if this work was already established, e.g. if farmers were already earning a steady income from their sorghum.
Nonetheless, the number of farmers that we work with each planting season depends on the support we are able to raise. So, if you are able to support our sorghum work alone, every little support that you could help us raise will impact a needy household.