Over 70% of farms in Africa are smallholder farms. They
collectively contribute huge amount of agricultural produce. Despite a host of
challenges with proper farming techniques and management they can succeed.
Production is only a piece of the puzzle because they
need proper marketing. It is important to judiciously manage natural resources.
Conserving the soils natural nutrients and waste water is very important.
Challenges
of Smallholder Farms
The challenges of smallholder farms are many. They lack
proper funding, overused fields, poor seed stock and illiteracy.
Smallholder farms employ labor intensive technique, poor
skill acquisition. Another major challenge is lack of innovation. The farmers
are generally stuck in their old ways of doing things.
•         Lack proper
funding
•         Overused
fields
•         Poor seed
stock
•         Illiteracy
•         Labor
intensive technique
•         Poor skill
acquisition
•         Lack of
innovation, motivation
•         Stuck in
their old ways of doing things
smallholder farm

Government
Intervention

The majority of smallholder farms are run by very poor
individuals. They do not have enough capital to grow or produce large scale.
African governments are not doing enough to encourage or boost smallholder
farms.
Ways government can improve their lot is through public
private partnership. They should also reduce the complexity in the agricultural
sector.
Skill
Acquisition
Smallholder farmers need to acquire the appropriate
skill. To earn considerable income, sustainability they need hands on training.
There are many agricultural, research institutions willing to pass-on
knowledge.
They also offer improved seeds, organic fertilizer and
modern tools. The farmer could seek an established mentor, read books, and
attend seminars or workshops.
•         Hands on
training
•         Improved
seeds
•         Organic
fertilizer
•         Modern
tools
•         Seek an
established mentor
•         Read books
•         Attend
seminars
•         Workshops
Farm
Management
The farmers need a sound organizational, management and
financial skills. The farmer needs to maintain financial records, save
judiciously. To succeed they also need entrepreneurial and marketing skill.
How to apply for unsecured loan
Building
Capacity
Experts believe capacity building starts with rural
communities working together. This includes joining a group, association or
farmers union.