BPI Round 2 - Africare - Updated

Round 2 December 2010 Best Practices & Innovations (BPI) Initiative Agriculture & Rural Livelihoods Soybean Market Linkages Project (SMLP) Africare Innovation Award for Access to Markets, Nutrition and Value Chain Development Overview: Africare’s “Zimbabwe Soybean Market Linkage Project” significantly improved food security and incomes of over 2000 smallholder farmers through the promotion of soybean production, marketing and processing. Five thousand farmers were trained in soybean production
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  Round 2December 2010         Best Practices & Innovations (BPI) Initiative  Agriculture & Rural Livelihoods  Soybean Market Linkages Project (SMLP)   Africare Innovation Award for Access to Markets, Nutrition and Value Chain Development    Overview: Africare’s “Zimbabwe Soybean Market   Linkage Project” significantly improved food security andincomes of over 2000 smallholder farmers through the promotion of soybean production, marketingand processing. Five thousand farmers were trained in soybean production and processing byexperienced community-based facilitators and extension staff. Women and children are excited to nowhave once scarce protein in abundance (+40%) through a wide array of confectioneries (soy beverages,soy burgers, fritters and soymilk). Lucrative markets are now accessible to association members due torobust research and dissemination of market information through information centers and theconsolidation and marketing of soybean and soybean products (edible oil and soybean cake (stockfeed)).  Three oil-pressing plants have been established through a revolving loan fund and are providinga local market for soybean, employment and value addition by 73%. The project is a model forreplication in other regions.   Intervention Details: Location Zimbabwe – Mt Darwin, Rushinga, Shamva and Bindura Districts( Mashonaland Central Province ) Start Date January 11, 2002 End Date December 31, 2007 Scale Local/Community Target Population Rural Smallholder Farmers Number of beneficiaries Approximately 4,000 Partners Government of Zimbabwe authorities (Ministry of Agriculture, Departmentof Agricultural Extension Services), Community-based organizations suchas the Mount Darwin Rushinga and Bindura Oil Press Association, TakuraNyakasikana Village Bank, Zimbabwe National Soybean CommodityAssociation, Traditional Leaders, the University of Zimbabwe and theprivate sector (Olivine Industries and National Foods) Funders/Donors The Rockefeller Foundation Total Funding $826,522 (with USD 300,000 for 1 st  Phase ; USD 412,522 for 2 nd  Phase ) Website     Round 2December 2010    About the Intervention 1. Background/Context What challenges or problems were the interventions designed to address? Why was the interventionneeded?  The smallholder agriculture in Zimbabwe is generally characterized by   low production rates, lack of accessto inputs, little technical extension support, and inadequate access to local/regional markets. Erraticrainfall and extended droughts have compounded these challenges, resulting in consistently poorharvests, widespread food insecurity, and erosion of household assets.  The social impacts are readilyapparent and pervasive – chronic and acute malnutrition rates stand at 35% and 2.4%, respectively.Furthermore, many Zimbabweans are not able to take advantage of certain value-added market linkagesthat could help to break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity.  For example, instead of simply sellinggrain as a primary product, smallholders could maximize their income earning potential through the agro-processing of certain crops (i.e. soybeans) into cooking oil that brings much higher returns.  The SoybeanMarket Linkages Project (SMLP) intervention was designed to empower smallholder farmers and assistthem in growing high value, drought tolerant, nutrient-fortified crops – ultimately improving sustainablehousehold food and income security over the long-term. 2. Goals & Objectives What were the intervention’s goals and objectives? What was it meant to accomplish?    The goal of the SMLP Phase I was to improve household food security and raise household income forapproximately 8,000 smallholder farmer beneficiaries in the five districts of Mt Darwin, Rushinga,Bindura, Shamva and Zvishavane.  Within these target communities, Phase II focused specifically on soyproduc tion due to the bean’s high market value, low production costs, and the fact that its price is not controlled by the Zimbabwean government.  The soybean also has a remarkably high protein content( ≈40%), which advantageously complemented the typically protein -deficient diets and could be used as asubstitute for foods normally requiring cash for purchase.  Finally, the soybean is easily processed bysmallholder households themselves, creating additional source of income generation and covering a household’s need for in -kind cash resources. The specific objectives of the SMLP Phase II were:a.   Increase soybean production from 2,250ha to 5,000ha through enhanced seed multiplicationtechniques and increased access to micro-credit opportunities for agro-processing inputs.b.   Promote the storage and strategic marketing of soybean grain.c.   Facilitate the establishment of a Village Bank in Bin dura district and increase the ‘Revolving Loan Fund ’ from US$20,000 to US$70,000.d.   Research the most effective techniques for using soy in the formulation of livestock feed andmaximizing the shelf life of soy-based products.e.   Increase HIV/AIDS awareness among SMLP participants and provide both care and support forPeople Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in target communities.  3. Key Activities Please describe the intervention’s main activities. What role did each partner play? If applicable, how is  Round 2December 2010    the intervention innovative?  Main SMLP activities included:   Training of smallholders in soybean production, utilization, agro-processing and marketing   Setting up ‘ Marketing Information Points ’ (cell phones facilitating farmer access to marketinformation) to identify the best local/regional market price locations   Planting of soybean for seed multiplication at the village level   Establishing three local, small-scale industrial soybean oil agro-processing plants  Innovation. Before the inception of the SMLP project, smallholder farmers typically harvested onlymaize, the staple food crop of Zimbabwe, which was subject to government price controls oriented insuch a way that farmers would often sell their grain at a loss.  SMLP assisted smallholder farmers indiversifying their cash crops and income base so that they no longer relied solely on maize mono-cropping. The SMLP project introduced farmers to the concept of small-scale soybean agro-processing inorder to enhance local production and increase market returns. With training, beneficiary smallholderfarmers have become savvy, business-oriented producers. Today, approximately 120MT of soybeansharvested within target communities are dedicated to the agro-processing and marketing of soybean oil. SMLP also pioneered the use of mobile phones for (a) accessing reliable market information and (b)disseminating that information among rural smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. This intervention ensuredthat farmers could no longer be shortchanged or taken advantage of by traders and middle-men makingoffers significantly below fair market prices.  SMLP helped to facilitate the community-driven formation of Soybean Commodity Associations that linked beneficiaries to both the input and output markets.  Thesevibrant, participatory community associations were founded upon the principle of good corporategovernance and helped farmers to negotiate contracts with private sector, consolidate their produce, andstrategically market products.  4. Effectiveness/Evidence of Success  What were the results of the intervention, and how were they measured? Who and how many peoplebenefited from the intervention? What evidence do you have to support these results (e.g. field visit reports, internal tracking & monitoring, internal or external evaluations, etc.)?     During the 2005/2006 growing season, SMLP assisted a total of 2,087 communal farmers in Bindura andShamva districts in soybean production.  Over 525ha were put under soybean production with an overallyield of 425MT (average of 0.81 tons per ha).  Exceptional farmers that carried out recommendedtechniques both correctly and in a timely manner obtained yields equivalent to commercial farmers (2.5to 3 t/ha).  A warehouse (100m 2 ) was also constructed in Bindura to ensure adequate, reliable storageand significantly reduce post-harvest losses. The SMLP project established three oil pressing plants in Shamva and Bindura districts.  The burgeoningoil agro-processing industry has provided a local market for both soybean and sunflower harvests; it alsoincreased employment opportunities for the local youth.  One of the three SMLP plants, the Murimi Oilpress, has diversified its business into the input supply industry and the sale of soybean and maize seed.Financial statements (as of 31 October 2006) from the co-operatives show strong gains in net profit, evenjust in the first months to a year of pressing:   Round 2December 2010    Murimi(Bindura)For 1 year Zvidozvevarimi(Shamva) 6 monthsChizinga (Shamva)For 3 monthsTurnover US$6417 US$1664 0Service Pressing US$3333 US$2192 US$2500 Total Income US$9750 US$3856 US$2500 Less Expenditure Total Expenses US$6667 US$2513 US$944Net Profit US$3083 US$1343 US$1556 Exchange rate:USD 1:Z$900 (parallel market rate)1.   Turnover is income from sale of soybean products such as oil and cake2.   Service pressing stands for income from oil extraction service offered to the general public  SMLP trained an srcinal core group of 17 smallholder farmers and 20 Zimbabwean agricultural extensionworkers in the agronomy of soybeans, household level agro-processing methodology, the utilization of soy as a nutritious protein substitute, and strategic marketing techniques.  These initial workshops wereessentially a “ training of trainers ”, which ultimately produced a cascade effect, resulting in the training of over 5,320 farmers in target communities.  Subsequently, 2,087 farmers successfully engaged in soybeanproduction. In the initial experimentation and adoption stages, farmers produced very small quantities of soybean (0.4t/ha) on small parcels of land (<0.1ha).  However, after seeing the progressive impact of SMLP, smallholders are now growing as much as 1.5 ha of soybean and their agronomic technique hasimproved significantly.   5. Equitable Outcomes  Please describe how the intervention enabled the participation of women and the specific benefits that resulted for them. Please provide data showing the comparative benefits for men and women. If theintervention focused primarily or exclusively on men, please explain the rationale for doing so.   The increased profit margins created by the SMLP project provide tangible benefits for the entirehousehold. All family members experience greater nutritional uptake and protein intake from the soy-based production of: bread, cakes, porridge, sadza, milk, cookies and scones.  Proceeds have also allowedsmallholder to buy production inputs in preparation for the next season, helping them to incrementallyboost their harvests and household assets.  Impact on youth: Beneficiary families are now able to reliably pay school fees each year, allowing theirchildren to receive a formal education that will benefit them for years to come. Additionally, SMLP hasencouraged youth participation in the project.  As a result, some youth have joined elder beneficiaries insoybean production.  One of the youngest farmers, 22 year old Edward Chitauro, was voted the bestsoybean farmer in Bindura. With the profits generated from soy production and marketing, he managed to buy both a heifer and a cultivator. Edward noted, “ many young people flock to urban centers in searchof employment, but with crops such as soybean the money is here in the rural areas ”  .  The attractiveincome earning potential of soy in the SMLP project has allowed youth to stay at home and focus onfarming, instead of being forced to migrate to urban centers in search of employment.  Impact on women: Approximately 52% of SMLP beneficiaries are women.  The project has encouraged
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