Page 1

Rolihlahla Agriculture Microfinance Project Ltd (RAMP LTD) REPORT ON THE FANRPAN HIGH-LEVEL FOOD SECURITY PARTNERS’ MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY, 29 MAY 2014, IN CENTURION, PRETORIA, RSA THEME: RETOOLING AFRICAN FAMILY FARMING FOR CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE AND POST-HARVEST LOSS REDUCTION

Celebrating Africa Day and enhancing strategic partnerships for collective action

Mr Noah Ben Adam, COO, RAMP LTD (left) Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CEO, FANRPAN (middle), and Mr Jeremie Muamba, CEO, RAMP LTD (right)

The last week of May 2014 had been marked by intense celebration by the peoples of Africa of the 51st anniversary of the continent’s unity, with the D-Day being the 25th of May. The week was crowned in South Africa by the FANRPAN HighLevel Food Security Partnerships’ Meeting, held on Thursday, 29 May 2014 with the theme Retooling African Family Farming for Climate Smart Agriculture and Post-harvest Loss Reduction. The Rolihlahla Agriculture Microfinance Project Ltd (RAMP LTD) was invited to the meeting as a prospective partner of FANRPAN. Indeed, RAMP LTD’s profile matches the meeting’s abovementioned theme. It powers the family farming by making poor families the main beneficiaries of its pre-loan social development package, and of its consecutive agribusinessoriented loan schemes. Besides, it promotes a climate-smart agriculture, working to fulfil its following goals: eradicating poverty in Africa, becoming itself a force to be reckoned with in the development bank sector, and significantly

contributing to the return to a pollution-free global environment. This development meeting took place in the context of the United Nations’ proclamation of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, the sharpening of the global issue of climate change, and the timely imperative of celebrating Africa Day and enhancing strategic partnerships for collective action toward a continent-wide development. Thence, in its capacity as one of the world’s top think-tanks conceiving policies for a food secure Africa, and bringing this global context down to Africa’s realities, FANRPAN organised the meeting with two concepts— African family farming and climate smart agriculture—as its focal points. These concepts were addressed in four manners: panel discussion; theatre for policy advocacy; positing issues, policies, frameworks and recommendations for climate smart agriculture & post-harvest management; and opportunities for linkages and synergies (partnering). First, the panel discussion regarded the results of FANRPAN-sponsored research on the situation of family farming in South Africa (precisely in the provinces of Limpopo and Eastern Cape) and its position vis-à-vis climate change. The research has made inter alia the following findings: (1) Out of the households identified in sampled wards as farmers (2.494 in Limpopo and 1446 in Eastern Cape), only a very small percentage is well-off, resilient to shocks (3% in Limpopo and 5% in Eastern Cape), whereas the very large portion is moderate, i.e. surviving but on the edge of falling to shocks (74% in Limpopo and 85% in Eastern Cape), and the rest is completely deprived, depending on humanitarian assistance, and vulnerable to shocks (23% in Limpopo and 10% in Eastern Cape); (2) Above results show that most of farming households need funding and social protection, while, because the setting is 1


tough for farming, many people are content with social grants for their livelihood; (3) A regular delivering of weather information is crucial to responsible behaviours and decision

making by smallholder farmers; however, while research in climate is facilitated by the availability of good data from the South African Weather Services, there is a need of reliable data on local weather, and this requires regular governmental funding of the expert work on local level; furthermore, increasing of temperature is certain in the future, still there is no confidence about the future of rainfall; (4) The major determinants of vulnerability of family farming are the geographic location (i.e. some localities are more drought-prone than others), gender (female-headed households are more vulnerable than male-headed ones), and ownership of an ox, which leads to a more yielding agriculture; and (5) The adaptation strategies include irrigation (especially for staples such as sorghum and maize), water conservation, and soil fertilizing. Second, the theatre for policy advocacy , performed by young students from the University of Swaziland, spelled out the reality of climate change in Africa as a consequence of polluting habits such as vehicle circulation, cow defecating, deforestation for domestic cooking, etc.; and the intervention of NGOs to provide farmers with

adaptation solutions such as drought-resistant seeds, vaccine for livestock and poultry, funding, and access to domestic and international free trade. It ended up with a damning observation: “Smallholder farmers contribute the least to the climate change, yet they are the most vulnerable [to its shocks]”. To correct this reality, the actors spread a message consisting of 8 resolutions running as follows: •

Address and streamline climate change in national agendas, planning and harmonising formulations of climate smart policies within and across the departments;

Agricultural extension officers should be sensitised to and be trained in climate change issues;

There should be no blanket approach to service delivery; we need targeted responses to communities which are dealing with climate change issues;

Hold households to be assessed and selected using reliable tools such as household vulnerability index and interventions that should be responsive to the specific needs;

Complement more small holder farmers’ indigenous knowledge to meet scientific knowledge for climate smart agriculture;

Research funding organisations in South Africa need to have a research ground thrust dedicated to climate smart agriculture;

The national meteorology department should provide simplified versions of seasonal weather forecasts to be broadcast for farmers; and

There is a need to integrate climate smart agriculture into school curriculum and turning programmes at all RAMP LTD is giving levels. you the wings to fly

Third, the lecture on climate smart agriculture & post-

toward prosperity 2


harvest management is highlighted in the FANRPAN-sponsored study conducted by Dr Phineas Khazamula Chauke (University of Venda) and titled Analyses of Existing Institutional Arrangements and the Policy Environment for Managing Risk for Crop Production and Postharvest Handling in Climate. The study shows the determination of the South African government and other role players within the country to tackle the climate change issue for a climate-smart, sustainably productive farming. For instance, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), through its Directorate Climate Change and Disaster Management, has charted climate change mitigation strategies that are “multifaceted but focus mainly on awareness campaigns, research and climate negotiation at the UFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] level” (p. 20). Besides, to confirm the effectiveness of this resolution, the study reveals that, regarding the total production of maize and wheat in the planted area in successive decades from 1970 to 2010, there is an increase in production due to the fact that “farmers have developed strategies to mitigate the effect of climate change as the [40 year] period was affected by a number of disasters” (p.23). Lastly, it reports that the South African National Climate Change Responsive Policy has outlined very useful intervention strategies “for mitigation against climate change, and thus to improve crop production” (p. 43), such as the use of the National GHG [greenhouse gas] Trajectory Range, an in-depth assessment of all mitigation potential, adoption of a flexible and least cost carbon budget approach for companies in relevant sectors, and a pricing of carbon and provision of economic incentives. Fourth and last, the culminating moment was the opportunities given to partners for linkages and synergies. In other words, time was given to RAMP LTD to tell the partners what it is, its mandate and approach, and the nature of partnership it contemplates to foster with FANRPAN. Indeed, the three-minute presentation by Noah Ben Adam, RAMP LTD COO, gave the partners the occasion to know RAMP LTD as a climate-smart agribusiness development microfinance institution that has a social and economic mandate. Socially, through the awarding of small loans, it enables the poor to take control of their lives through entrepreneurship and to

meet basic needs. Economically, it plays the triple role of custody, midwifery and husbandry of the small agribusiness community. Moreover, its

socioeconomic mandate is undertaken through the combination of two successful microfinance approaches: the credit awarding approach, initiated by the Grameen Bank, and the “credit plus” approach, bred by the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee. Lastly, RAMP LTD expects a mutually enriching partnership with

FANRPAN, eyeing the latter’s contribution in terms of technical assistance in training clients in agro-ecology, and in instructing the staff to find a right niche for the MFI in a highly competitive, fluctuating international economy. JEREMIE MUAMBA DINKOLOBO CEO, Rolihlahla Agriculture Microfinance Project

Ltd (RAMP LTD)

Cell Phone: +27 767 140 416 Fax: +27 866 636 624 E-mail: jmuamba@rampltd.co.za Website: www.rampltd.co.za

3


RAMP LTD - Fanrpan Partners Meeting Report  

The last week of May 2014 had been marked by intense celebration by the peoples of Africa of the 51st anniversary of the continent’s unity,...

Advertisement
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you