Partnerships power family farms – African Farming

The agricultural value chain – from the farmers who produce our food down to the people who consume it – is built on partnerships. Family farming, in turn, is founded on productive partnerships in which farmers co-operate and collaborate with family, neighbours, banks, suppliers, buyers and markets.

Tony Ndoro, presenter of African Farming, says there are formal and informal partnerships in the agricultural value chain, which is founded on partnerships. Ndoro is echoing the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which actively encourages networking in rural communities, stating that farming should not be a solitary activity.

This is a principle vigorously endorsed by Praveen Dwarika, Managing Director of Lemang Agricultural Services. He says partnerships are vital to farming operations. “We’ve always said building a farming operation is for generations, and partnerships with agricultural businesses form a key component of these operations.”

Agribusinesses are suppliers of superior services and products, and act as advisors to farmers. Their in-house experts can advise farmers on topics ranging from agronomy to animal diseases, from inputs to technical training, from finance to futures.

“It’s important that farmers see their agribusiness as a go-to resource,” Dwarika adds. Equally important is the capacity of the relevant team within the organisation to support the farmer. “The expertise can be in place, but the requests must come from farmers, who should understand what they want to achieve in their farming businesses.”

Agribusinesses like Lemang Agricultural Services also help with training and development, which is essential for the success of emerging farmers. Farmers need access to technological advances and innovation to stay current and profitable. This access relies on strong, continuous partnerships with training institutions.

Partnerships between established white commercial farmers and developing and aspiring black farmers have helped build bridges and transfer knowledge. These collaborations are key to a thriving agricultural sector and its ability to produce food for the people of our country.

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