Areas of specialisation

Community Based Natural Resource Management

Natural resources that farmers in the rural areas have, have deteriorated over time due to various factors. These natural resources such as land, rivers, etc., are vital for sustaining livelihoods for the rural poor. The quality of soils and other resources have deteriorated due to factors like soil erosion and intensive cultivation without proper soil management and conservation strategies. Such detrimental practices are due to lack of knowledge and support to rural farmers. This is further worsened by climate change which affects farmers’ access to water. The climate change effects are pronounced as the majority of rural smallholder farmers depend on rain water for irrigation, which subsequently affects their growing season. All these challenges that smallholder farmers face pose a threat to their livelihoods.

In an effort to reduce the impact of the loss of natural resources, FSG conducts workshops where farmers are equipped with the relevant knowledge to adapt to climate change, such as improving soil health, water harvesting techniques and adopting efficient irrigation methods. Further more, FSG regularly conducts farm visits to actually get the feel and to better understand the problems that  farmers are faced with on the ground and to come up with innovative solutions.

Information Dessemination

Lack of information and knowledge are some of the issues that smallholder farmers in rural areas face and marginalises them. Insufficient information affects the farmers’ decision-making, which affects their operations, yields, income and food security status. The lack of knowledge among smallholder farmers means that they end up using inappropriate, outdated and inefficient agricultural practices that are ineffective under prevailing climatic conditions. The uninformed decisions undermine their growth and development.

As a result, FSG holds education and awareness sessions through farmers’ forum. Meetings are also arranged for farmers to interact with other relevant stakeholders. From these meetings farmers are given crucial information about farming and related activities. These initiatives are aimed at spreading knowledge, and making smallholder farmers more informed and empowered.

Development of Value Chains (Agro & non-Agro)

The majority of smallholder rural farmers lacks the entrepreneurial spirit to diversify their livelihoods beyond primary production. To a large extent, this emanates from their lack of exposure, information and knowledge, poor infrastructure that affects their access to the markets, and lack of support and advice from development agents. These challenges affect how smallholder farmers view their potential and hinders them from tapping into business opportunities. Agricultural products at farm level gain in value when processes. therefore, smallholder farmers can potentially generate more income from processing their agricultural produce than selling it unprocessed.

To encourage entrepreneurship , FSG exposes farmers to entrepreneurship and supports them in agro-processing. FSG provides training skills on how to exploit marketing opportunities along the value chain. Other related areas of support are on savings clubs and bulk buying. Farmers are exposed to various stakeholders that have potential to assist them in different ways in their farming activities.

Sustainable Agriculture for Food Security and Income Generation,

The world is changing, largely due to climate change. The changes in the circumstances that farmers face requires them to adopt sustainable means of food production, in order to realise good high yields while at the same time taking care of the environment.  Use of sustainable farming practices ensures that generations to come can also produce their food and derive livelihoods from the land.

FSG develops seasonal curriculum designed to address farmers’ agricultural needs. Farmers are trained on sustainable agricultural practices to ensure that they obtain good quality yields, which will also lead to food security and income generation.

Community Mobilization

FSG mobilizes communities to create common voices that can address their issues and needs such as market access, land and water access. Challenges that smallholder farmers face are multi-dimensional and complex, and require significant investments from them, government and other stakeholders.