Smallholder farmers in northern Peru and southern Ecuador live in extreme poverty. Through division of inherited land, individual agricultural plots are becoming ever smaller so that securing livelihoods has become increasingly difficult. The limited size of agricultural plots and lack of skills in proper use of fertilizers, pest control (including organic products), and irrigation systems result in smaller yields. Moreover, best practices are lacking in pre- and post-harvest handling, and this compromises product quality. Thus, farmer incomes are inadequate, which puts pressure on mostly younger generations to migrate to urban areas.
EMPRENDE tackles the low level of productivity of small coffee, cocoa and banana farmers; the poor post harvest management with its effect on product quality and weaknesses in corporate and commercial management of producer associations as entities responsible for facilitating market research to ensure better marketing.
In rural regions poverty is fought sustainably through systemic support to SME farmers. The focus is on developing in-demand agriculture subsectors, facilitating market access for SME farmers, and improving production and quality so that they can increase yields and fetch higher prices.
The project concentrates on four core activities:
1. Farmer skills development The project provides training and continuing education in planting, adapted irrigation, pest control, fertilizers, and seed technology along with environmentally friendly production methods. This improves the quality and quantity of yields, and trained farmers can increase family incomes themselves.
2. Strengthening farmer organisations Smallholder farmers depend on well-functioning organisations for better marketing of their products. The project supports farmer organisations in management, financing, and marketing. Organisations receive support to achieve Organic/Fair Trade certification for their products.
3. Access to market information and building business linkages while replicating promising and innovative business ideas There is considerable need for establishing and nurturing solid business linkages along the value chain. The project helps significantly by linking producers with buyers (price and purchase guarantees) while providing market intelligence and new market access.
4. Support to financial institutions In the financial sector the programme works closely with SACCOs (Savings and Credit Cooperatives). First of all, the SACCOs are supported in efforts to develop financial products and services for smallholder farmers, which they then offer at fair and appropriate terms.
Achievements in 2014
Increase in competitiveness:
Access to productive infrastructure:
Creating a sustainable supply of goods and services:
2017 - 2020
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
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