The top three reasons you should be focusing on farmer professionalism
Even if your donor is not
So, you’ve been awarded a $50M five-year grant from an institutional donor to work on an agricultural value chain project: FANTASTIC. However, the donor’s expectations are high, the approach seems codified in the proposal that was awarded, and there is no room in the budget for another item. What if someone were to tell you that you can achieve your donor’s objective(s) in a quicker and/or more cost-effective way? Would you then revisit the work plan to build this into your overall approach? And how could you monitor progress without having to spend a significant portion of your M&E budget?
Here are the top three reasons you should be incorporating farmer professionalism as an approach into your programs right now:
1. Professional Farming Organizations are More Profitable
In the graph above, the level of professionalism is plotted against the annual gross profit; You can see that more professional organizations make a higher profit, and this often translates to higher earnings and benefits for the members themselves.
2. Professional Organizations are More Environmentally Sustainable
In the graph above, the level of professionalism is plotted against sustainable environmental performance; You can see that more professional organizations are more likely to implement environmentally sound agricultural practices.
3. Professional Organizations Have Better Access to Finance
In the graph above, the level of professionalism is plotted against average loan size; more professional organizations are not only more likely to receive a loan, but when they do, it is larger. Loans are important for agribusinesses as it facilitates growth and access to inputs at the start of a growing season.
While these are only three reasons, there are many more as professional farmer organizations (or agribusinesses) provide a host of services to their members and are a source of job security for many in their communities. SCOPEinsight has been collecting data about farming organizations for the past ten years, and we see dozens of correlations (sometimes surprising) between the level of professionalism and a host of development outcomes. The most important outcome, however, is that when practitioners focus on professionalism, they inherently develop an exit plan for the cooperatives/organizations with whom they support; in other words, once organizations are professionalized, they’re able to link to the market and private sector partners, which reduces their need to rely on donor/development led programs.
Are you ready to move the organizations which you work with from reliance to self-sufficiency (and get the results you want on your programs)? Send us a message and we will show you how our clients are doing it.Back to news