Together with Todd Rosenstock (ICRAF), Sera Gondwe (LUANAR), Golden Mahove (Vuna) and Wageningen University colleagues Prof. Jacques Trienekens, Dr. Valentina Materia and Dr. Thomas Lans, we received funding from the Dutch Research Institute (NWO) and CCAFS for the project "Understanding and scaling Organisational Structures of business models for SMAllholder REsilience (OSMARE).
OSMARE aims to define how the organizational structures of thirteen selected business models in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania stimulate smallholder resilience to market, social and environmental shocks through Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA)-related incentives.
One of these thirteen business models will be the partnership between the Malawi Milk Producer Association (MMPA) and Lilongwe Dairy Limited seeking to develop a more effective and less greenhouse gas (GHG)-intensive local value chain from dairy farms to urban consumers.
Within this case, we will investigate: does the MMPA-Lilongwe Dairy trigger dairy smallholder farmer entrepreneurship and expand their value networks over time and, ultimately, make them more resilient? How does this process unfolds over time and how it allows including women, youth and other marginalised actors in the daily farming community?
Smallholder resilience represents a crucial ability for farmers to adapt to unexpected systemic shocks inherent to agri-food systems. Agribusiness managers and development actors, as well as farmers themselves, can use these organizational structures as levers to enhance smallholder resilience, thus fostering competitiveness, inclusiveness and mitigating or preventing the effects of climate change in the medium and long run.
Resilience will be assessed in terms of development of farmers’ entrepreneurial processes and their embeddedness in value networks with other stakeholders in the system. During and after the investigation, personal and group trainings will provide spaces for smallholders, their representatives and stakeholders to exchange knowledge and reciprocally foster their capacities.
Based on the findings from two complementary studies involving 2,600 farmers in three years, results will be disseminated and discussed with local farmer organizations and their stakeholders, including agribusiness managers and development actors, to draw actionable implications for scaling up and scaling out innovative and best-fit business models to support the transformation to climate-smart agriculture.
This is the broad conceptual framework that we will refine into specific hypotheses and test as part of the OSMARE project:
For more information about this project, feel free to contact our newly hired postdoc scholar Drs. Rob Lubberink, who will coordinate the project implementation, or me.