Farmers’

Voices

The Farmers’ Voices innovation was based in the Mopani district of Limpopo province and took place from May 2014 to March 2016. The innovation aimed to motivate the engagement of smallholder farmers to influence and advise on the development and implementation of the Supporting Smallholder Agriculture (SSA) projects and the policies and support models that directly affect them.

 

Over the course of the project, smallholder farmers within the Mopani Farmers Association (MFA) have risen as leaders to speak for themselves, trust in their own power, and engage with authorities on issues affecting their future as farmers and a developing rural community.

Some of the key events over the course of this innovation included:

 

  • The Art of Hosting training: An event that empowered members of the MFA with dialogue and facilitation skills.
  • The airing of Farmers’ Voice radio shows over Phalaborwa Community Radio station.
  • The Farmers’ Voices and Agro-Ecology workshop: A combined meeting of the two innovation teams.
  • Presentation of the concept of Farmers’ Voices to a group of smallholder farmers in Umkhanyakude district in KwaZulu-Natal. The aim of this meeting was to share some of the lessons from Mopani.
  • Connecting the Umkhanyakude farmers to their local radio station, Maputoland.
  • The Mopani Farmers Indaba: An event designed by the MFA to seek clarity from authorities on a number of key issues including the use of an empty pack house in Dzumeri, government extension services, water license registrations, small enterprise development, market standards, and training. The event showcased the skills and empowered voice that the MFA had gained over the time of the innovation. A number of Umkhanyakude farmers also attended this event.

 

For further information, please contact the project team lead and an MFA member, Norah Mlondobozi at davanofresh@mweb.co.za or the programme manager, Kenneth Carden at kenneth@southernafricafoodlab.org.

 

Banner photo credit: Aletta Harrison, Eyewitness News.

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Project Details

FUNDERS

The Ford Foundation

Start Date

May 2014

End Date

March 2016

KEY PARTNERS

REOS

The MFA

Key Outputs

The Art of Hosting training with the MFA

Programmes on local radio stations

MFA Indaba