Approximately 500 million smallholder farmers are working on farms often less than 2 hectares in size around the world. The majority of these farmers are in Asia. Most of these farmers struggle to provide enough food for their family’s use. There are no surpluses to trade with or to provide to the value chain. These farmers (often women) are constrained by low quality soil, low water availability and high temperatures, limited access to appropriate (smallholder farmer friendly) technologies, limited access to inputs (quality seed, fertilizers, pesticides etc.), limited access to supporting infrastructure, limited access to capital, insurance and other risk reducing tools, and limited access to markets and information. There is also a deficit in farm management knowledge. For a significant number of the smallholder farmer community many of these constraints, however, can be overcome with appropriate interventions, and sufficient political will.
To this end, Bayer and its partners in Singapore, Murdoch University and Asia BioBusiness Pte. Ltd., will seek to drive an initiative to establish a Centre Excellence for Smallholder Farmer Transformational Management.
The Centre will be based in Singapore which is surrounded by countries with large numbers of smallholder farmers. The Centre will be closely linked with institutions in these countries and with key regional and global knowledge partners.
The Centre will have three focus areas:-
- The development/refinement of scale appropriate technology that’s is affordable and profit-enhancing for smallholder farmers. This focus area will also include technology scouting/partnering, IP management, sourcing of technology partners in Singapore and the region etc.
- A program to empower leaders in agriculture with the skills/knowledge to catalyze transformation of smallholder farmers from noncommercial to profitable enterprises. Participants in this program will be recruited from governments, NGOs and the private sector from regional countries with large smallholder farmer populations. This program will be certified by Murdoch University.
- Activities that will promote a learning culture, knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and use among stakeholders. These will include solution-oriented workshops, think tanks with global/regional experts on national specific topics of smallholder farming systems, including policy development and technology.
We look to collaborate with like-minded global and regional partners from both the public and private sectors, as well as civil society, to drive this initiative forward.
If you would like to have more information on this initiative or contribute in any way, please contact:
In Singapore: Dr. Andrew Powell: [email protected]