Smallholder Women Farmers in Malawi
A few weeks ago, the Women’s International Networking (WIN) Conference in Berlin brought together female leaders from all over the world, and little did they know how they would end up impacting lives a continent away.
“With this year’s participation at WIN, DuPont used the platform to advocate for farming in Malawi where 70 percent of agricultural work is done by women,” said Ana Somolinos, DuPont EMEA Organizational Vibrancy Champion and Project Leader for the WIN Conference. “We used a digital campaign at the stand to encourage visitors to show their support, each click represented 12,500 maize plants. Over 200 visitors supported the campaign!”
As a result of this campaign, DuPont donated 1.5 tons of maize seed to women farmers in Malawi through Gift of the Givers Foundation, Africa’s leading disaster relief organization of Africa origin, who will further handle the distribution to the farmers in the country, advancing women farmers in Malawi in terms of food security. Watch a video about the donation here.
“This effort conforms to the DuPont philosophy that although science is universal – solutions have to be implemented at a local level,” Somolinos explained.
“We believe this donation will go further to address the issue of lack of good seed especially among the 320 resource-poor rural farmers who will receive the seed,” said Felix Jalasi of the Gift of the Givers Foundation.
DuPont is committed to improving rural communities through target collaborations and investments that strengthen agricultural systems and make food more available, nutritious and culturally appropriate.
GAMSAP – Improving Smallholder Farmer Productivity in Ghana
To help improve the productivity of smallholder maize farmers in Ghana, recently the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and DuPont Pioneer launched the Ghana Advanced Maize Seed Adoption Program (GAMSAP). The program will encourage a network of farmer dealers to use agriculture best practice production techniques. The investment will total more than US $4 million over the next four years.
The program is modeled on a similar one undertaken in Ethiopia by ACDI-VOCA, the organization that will implement the program in Ghana. GAMSAP aims to:
- Increase adoption of hybrid maize seed and related good agricultural practices to increase productivity and profitability;
- Improve input supply chain to improve farmer access to improved technology
- Improve post-harvest handling practices; and
- Increase market linkages with end buyers.
The program will seek partners with other input providers, farm machinery suppliers and local aggregators and processors of maize to provide markets for maize.
“High quality seed (both local and international) is a key to the modernization and profitability of the agricultural sector. This partnership is designed to demonstrate the benefits of these new varieties and encourage farmers to invest in their businesses with productivity-boosting technologies,” said the USAID Ghana Mission Director, Jim Bever.
Ghana’s agriculture is dominated by small scale producers, with average farm sizes of about 1.2 hectares and low use of technology. Maize smallholder farmers also account for over 80 percent of production, though their yield per hectare averages around 1.5 tons per hectare, which is significantly below the average 2 tons per hectare of maize yields in Africa and 10 tons per hectare in the U.S. By adopting hybrid seed and using improved farming inputs and techniques, participating farmers will be able to achieve significant productivity gains and increased profitability.