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SAA’s Value Chain Approach

 

Mali’s National Director of Agriculture listening to farmers during a monitoring visit to an SAA supported farm
 

SAA in Mali has been promoting and implementing a valuechain extension approach for integrated and holistic support services for farming households. The value chain approach helps production and processing both for family food security and for commercially-orientated smallholder farmers. The main focus of the value-chain is the empowerment of family producers by addressing farming constraints from production to marketing and consumption.

 

Needs assessment surveys are also undertaken in intervention villages to identify the constraints and technological options available for enhancing crop productivity, reducing postharvest losses and improving the quality of staple food crops/products for the market. The low productivity of crops remains a major constraint for the development of efficient supply chains. The crop productivity enhancement and postharvest and agro-processing programs support staple crop producers through the learning platforms. These platforms are venues for practical learning involving: training of extension agents and farmers; on-farm demonstrations and continuous monitoring and evaluation of activities, feed-back and support. SAA provides the inputs required for both Technology Option Plots (TOPs) and Women Assisted Demonstrations (WADs), as well as technical backstopping of extension agents and farmers. The extension agents then provide technical support and supervision to TOP and WAD farmers.

 

The Postharvest Extension Learning Platform (PHELP) serves as venue for training farmers and agro-processors on improved postharvest handling and storage practices to reduce postharvest losses and add value to their produce. The public-private partnership activities support capacity building of emerging private sector agricultural enterprises, such as input suppliers, processors, farmers’ organizations and others. Another example is the input shops established in collaboration with input suppliers, which facilitated the access of farmers to production inputs. These all boost agricultural advisory services to smallholder farmers.