Farmer's Pride International (FPI) agriculture investment "Organization" introduces the Rural and Urban Agriculture Innovative Production Program (RUIAPP), an ambitious initiative that uses a community-centric approach, designed to foster the successful implementation of AGROECOLOGY, sustainable agricultural development and economic growth in Africa. RUAIPP is a multifaceted approach that encompasses the involvement of youth and women in the agriculture value chain, offering training, capacity building, gender empowerment, technology integration, as well as value chain development skills, policy influence and advocacy, knowledge on trade barriers and crop exports thus promoting the achievement of the United Nations SDGs 1 to 8. The program centres its efforts primarily on the production of globally demanded high-value, cross-border value chain development crops such as potatoes, rice, wheat, sunflower, white sesame seeds, Moringa, etc., with potatoes being the initial focus of the program.
The program focuses on facilitating skills and knowledge transfer to connect Africa's Rural and Urban farming communities to the United Nations's 8 Sustainable Development Goals and the improvement of sustainable farming and food processing techniques as well as establishing robust market linkages. Farmer's Pride International (FPI), known in shorthand, exclusively champions the RUAIPP, a program developed and authored by Elfas Mcloud Zadzagomo Shangwa (Hunter), the incumbent Executive President and Founder of Farmer's Pride International.
WHY IS FPI-I FOCUSED ON AGRICULTURE?
Agriculture is the future, as well as a family business. When people think of agriculture, they often envision it as crop production: soil and land preparation and sowing, fertilizing, irrigating, and harvesting different types of plants and vegetation.
However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS):, crop farming is just one element of the Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting sectors. Agriculture also encompasses raising livestock; industrial forestry and fishing; and agricultural support services, such as agricultural equipment repair and trucking operations.
The breadth of the agricultural sector parallels the global reach of Farmer's Pride International. This expansive presence has inspired the organization to conceive of the Rural and Urban Agricultural Innovative and Production Program (RUAIPP) as a best practice initiative designed to enhance the sustainability of its operations.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURE AND FARM WORKERS' WELFARE?
Agriculture helps sustain life by providing the food we need to survive. It also contributes $7 trillion to the economies of countries like the USA. Despite agriculture’s importance, farmworkers are among the lowest-paid workers in the world.
However, agriculture also provides opportunities for economic equity and helps people prosper around the world. For example, since 2000, the agricultural growth rate in Sub-Saharan Africa has surpassed that of any other region in the world (approximately 4.3% annually), contributing to the region’s economic gains, according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). While there’s been a global decline in agricultural jobs — from 1 billion in 2000 to 883 million in 2019, according to employment indicators: from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations — agriculture remains the second-highest source of employment (26.7% of total work). Read more>>>
AGRICULTURE BASED CLUSTERS
FPI is implementing RUAIPP through the Agriculture Based Clusters (ABCs) these comprise
Farming Clusters (FCs) for Farming production at the community level and Agriculture Industrial Clusters (IC) for farming produce processing, marketing, distribution, and Exports, with both promoting mass food production systems making FPI-I a front-line solution to the production of high-value as well as high-quality vegetables, grains, oilseeds, pulse crops, and legumes. Read more>>>.
The ABCs play an important role in building structures that enable the production of enough food to feed the world, these structures establishes a Sustainable Agricultural innovation system, from implementing zero tillage to implementing GPS-guided machinery and now AI-driven crop management, working with Smallholder farmers who have a record of growing about 70 per cent of the world’s food supply on small farms of 1 hectare onwards—these farmers are critical to the global food system. Read more
SELF-HELP CREDIT SCHEMES
While agriculture plays a crucial role in providing sustenance and resources for the populace, it is often perceived as a high-risk sector by bankers and financiers. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of concerted efforts to address this issue. The challenge of accessing capital for agricultural endeavours persists in both rural and urban settings, and this is anticipated to endure for the foreseeable future. Consequently, FPI has taken the initiative to collaboratively engage with farming communities to establish accessible and cost-effective means of building capital.
This endeavour aims to improve agricultural methodologies, streamline the acquisition of inputs, and ultimately increase crop yields, it is widely acknowledged that securing credit can be a formidable challenge, particularly for small-scale farmers without sufficient collateral or credit records. This is where self-help microfinance credit initiatives play a pivotal role, by offering accessible credit to farmers who would otherwise be marginalized by traditional lending establishments.
In response to the obstacles faced by individuals lacking the necessary capital to embark on agricultural ventures, FPI-I has introduced self-help microfinance credit schemes and community-based lending programs tailored to assist small-scale farmers. These microfinance initiatives are designed to extend financial assistance to those who are underserved by conventional banking institutions. Operated and bolstered by the farmers themselves, these schemes involve the pooling of savings to establish a fund from which members can obtain loans. Typically modest in scale, these loans feature comparatively low-interest rates in contrast to those offered by commercial lenders.
AGRICULTURE AND POPULATION GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
The world's population is currently at 7.9 billion and expected to be 9.7 billion people by the year 2050 source>>>. When it comes to population growth Africa is the worst affected, with more than 60% of its population under the age of 25 and expected to constitute 42% of global youth by the year 2050 source>>>, With more people, Africa will face bigger challenges inferred by its fast-growing population with problems such as job creation and food production and consumption going up with more people being fed. Agriculture is the solution to solve all the challenges listed above.
YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND JOB CREATION
Involving young people in agriculture is essential for the future of each country. It helps to address job shortages, introduces new ideas and technologies, provides opportunities for entrepreneurship, and promotes sustainability. By doing so, we can ensure that agriculture continues to be a vital industry for generations to come.
FPI-I understand that young people are often more comfortable getting themselves involved in activities that involve technology and are more likely to be aware of new developments in the industry. To put this into action it has put in place an Agriculture department that involves young people in agriculture that can bring new ideas and innovation to the industry, driving progress and improving production.
Young people who are interested in agriculture can be encouraged to start their own businesses, either by starting a small farm or by developing new products for exports or technologies for the industry. This can help create new jobs and promote economic development in rural areas. Read more>>
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
As demand for staple foods and agricultural processed food commodities increasingly grows in developing countries, there is a need for mindset change if the world is to meet these needs. The agricultural and food sectors need to undergo a significant transformation to attract the young generation
To achieve all this FPI has come up with several research-based high-value crop production projects under its RUAIPP that support the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 to 8 which are all buttoned-up in the use of Agricultural Innovations, this global roadmap, if fully implemented, will enable the world to meet its challenges of building sustainable pathways to feed 9.7 billion people by the year 2050. Read more>>>
RURAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH AGRICULTURE
As the world population grows each day, more players are required to venture into the Agrifood production business, this will, In turn, create job opportunities, produce food for everyone, and make nutritious food available using fewer safe resources, which brings more significant benefits to rural farming communities. With the growth of the world population food security is becoming a critical issue, as 2.1 billion poor people and 767 million people are now living in extreme poverty, 80 percent of them living in rural areas, where agriculture is the main source of their livelihood, if the world acts slow in addressing climate change an additional 100 million people shall be added to those already suffering from extreme poverty by 2030. Read more>>>
AGRICULTURE BASED ECONOMIC BUILDING
One of the central goals of every developing country is to reach high-income status. Agriculture development plays a critical role in transforming economies to reach this goal, along with achieving other essential development goals like ensuring food security and improving nutrition. Therefore, in order to end hunger and undernutrition while accelerating economic growth, agricultural transformation must become a reality.
As the backbone of every economy, agriculture brings social progress by increasing productivity, employment, and income. it is also the main driver of development, and to win over this FPI-I has put much of its focus on rural development as this brings to life a strong agricultural sector that will enable African economies to reduce poverty and form the basis for sustainable economic development at all levels.
Sustainable economic development brings social progress through the creation of jobs and income, as well as the integration of poverty groups such as young people and the unemployed. Food markets require public support and regulation as the economy is organized along these value chains because the point of reference for all economic activity is the products and the markets on which they are sold
GOVERNMENT POLICYING ON AGRICULTURE
Agriculture impacts global trade because it’s tied to other sectors of the economy, supporting job creation and encouraging economic development. The solution to agricultural success in any country rests on the government putting in place policies that support the growth of the agricultural sector, the world's biggest business and job market which can easily ingest most young people into its value chains, as they become farmers, producers, processors, distributors, and exporters, this must start with the commercialization of the Agriculture sector.
Countries with strong agricultural sectors experience employment growth in other sectors, according to USAID. Countries with agricultural productivity growth and robust agriculture infrastructure also have higher per capita incomes, since producers in these countries innovate through technology and farm management practices to boost agricultural productivity and profitability.
Agriculture is a vital sector for any country’s economy, thus government policies should play a significant role in its growth and development. Its role in supporting agriculture is essential to ensure food security, income stability, and employment opportunities for the rural population, all this will promote the following:
Increased productivity: Commercialization has led to the use of advanced farming techniques, modern equipment, and technology. This ensures that farming practices are efficient, resulting in increased productivity.
Improvement in economic growth: Commercialization of agriculture creates jobs in the agricultural sector, which increases the income level of farmers and people who depend on agriculture. This, in turn, leads to an overall improvement in economic growth.
Increase in food security: One of the significant benefits of commercialization is an increase in food production, which leads to food security. Commercial farming ensures that there is a consistent supply of food to the market, reducing the risk of food shortages and price hikes.
Adaptation to market demands: Commercialization enables farmers to produce according to market demands, which encourages them to diversify their crop production. This also ensures that farmers can earn more by producing high-value crops.
Therefore, it is essential to have government policies that support agriculture. These policies will help create a conducive environment for farmers to be productive and efficient, ensure food security, create employment opportunities, promote sustainability, and stimulate economic growth.