Siyavuna Abalimi Development Centre Case Study

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SiyavunaAbalimiDevelopment Centre (SDC)
Case study August 2015
Compiled by Erna Kruger, Mazwi Dlamini and Sane Moloi.
Mahlathini Organics. 15 August 2015
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Contents
OUTLINE OF CASE STUDY PROCESS AND CONTENT ......................................................................................................3
PRINCIPLES TO LIVE BY ................................................................................................................................................3
SUMMARY OF THE SDC SCIP .......................................................................................................................................3
THE MODEL ................................................................................................................................................................4
EMERGING OPTIONS ...................................................................................................................................................5
DEVELOPMENT OF THE VALUE CHAIN.........................................................................................................................5
SYSTEMS .....................................................................................................................................................................6
Communication with farmers ..................................................................................................................................6
Cooperatives ...........................................................................................................................................................6
PGS system.............................................................................................................................................................6
Monitoring and evaluation ......................................................................................................................................6
HOW THINGS ARE GOING ...........................................................................................................................................7
SUMMARY OF ISSUES TO CONSIDER ...........................................................................................................................7
Quality and quality control of produce ....................................................................................................................8
Production support .................................................................................................................................................8
Demonstration garden ..............................................................................................Error! Bookmark not defined.
Pricing ...................................................................................................................................................................10
Training ................................................................................................................................................................. 10
PGS .......................................................................................................................................................................11
Farmers Association (FA) Meetings .......................................................................................................................11
Supply and demand ..............................................................................................................................................12
Marketing .............................................................................................................................................................13
Cooperatives .........................................................................................................................................................14
THINGS TO CONSIDER ...............................................................................................................................................15
Seed and seedlings ................................................................................................................................................15
Production support ...............................................................................................................................................16
Quality control ......................................................................................................................................................17
Pricing, supply and demand ..................................................................................................................................17
SCGs......................................................................................................................................................................18
Soil fertility management ......................................................................................................................................18
APPENDIX 1: OUTLINE OF SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS .....................................................................19
Farmer involvement Questions .........................................................................................................................19
INTERVIEW SCHEDULE..........................................................................................................................................22
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OUTLINE OF CASE STUDY PROCESS AND CONTENT
A snapshot overview has been conducted for the SDC and the Agri-SCIP to
outline the activities, scope and management processes for this programme
with comments related to gaps and possibilities, with associated
recommendations. The document has been compiled using a case study
approach and is not meant to be considered as a formal evaluation of the
programme.
The process followed was semi structured interviews conducted for key staff,
participants and stakeholders using question outlines consolidated through a
discussion with the director of SDC. See Appendix 1 for the question outlines
and interview schedule.
PRINCIPLES TO LIVE BY
1.Progressive incentives for farmers based on effort and own
contribution
2.Clear differentiation in effort between M1,M2, and M3 in terms of
support and contributions transparent to all farmers
3.Link farmers to SCGs in a conscious way and link business skill
development to this process
4.Farmers do farming primarily and the marketing agent takes the
marketing risk
5.The marketing agent isseparate from and unbiased in dealing with
farmers and is separate from an unbiased in terms of Siyavuna
support and facilitation as well.
6.SDC will need to continue to support the cooperatives but give careful
thought to what incentives are provided.
7.Supply of produce to the cooperative is voluntary and farmers can
also sell independently.
SUMMARY OF THE SDC SCIP
The Agricultural Sustainable Community Investment Programme (Agri-SCIP)
supports rural smallholders in Southern KZN.
Sustainable production techniques are used by individual farmers in two areas
of the Ugu DM (Hibiscus Coast and Mdoni) to grow vegetables and fruit and
sell to their local cooperatives through a PGS (Participatory Guarantee System)
under the Kumnandi brand, providing a guaranteed, but not exclusive, market
for their goods, mostly in urban areas.
Training (M1 and M3) and mentoring (Agri-mentors) in organic farming
methods is provided, followed by linkages to the local cooperatives (2) and
support and supervision for the Farmers Associations (10). Limited
infrastructural support is also provided to farmers to develop their micro-
enterprises.
AIM: Agricultural and economic
development; building local rural
economies,
MISSION: Trainand mentor emerging
organic farmers for food security and
develop successful micro-enterprises
through Farmers Associations and Co-
operatives that market the produce
under the Kumnandi brand
320 participating farmers- 31 M3
farmers of whom>80% are women
(2013-2104). Since inception around
2288 people have been trained.
74% of gardening trainees start a
garden.
48% of gardening trainees join a
Participatory Guarantee System (PGS).
75% of those who have joined a PGS
sell vegetables.
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The cooperatives establish village based collection points (18 for HCM, 3 for Mdoni) within walking distance of the
farms, farmers deliver weekly and are paid cash and the cooperatives sell on the vegetables to clients; they do
market research and coordination of the lists of required products, monthly price benchmarking to set purchase and
sales prices and communication of prices and products to members. Cooperatives employ staff and manage the
vehicles for collection and delivery. They are supported by SDC in market linkages and analysis of produce data as
well as with cash flow management and support.
Community field workers (CFW, 21) are elected members of Farmers Associations (FA) who assist at collection
points and represent the community on the cooperative board along with FA representatives. They are responsible
for quality control choices and receive training and mentoring support from cooperative staff and SDC.They receive a
monthly stipend.
THE MODEL
(From Siyavuna website strategy)
The process is introduced through traditional structures and municipal involvement in villages. Discussions include
the process and setting up of farmers’ associations (FAs) in the area to manage the farmer involvement. Volunteers
who are interested attend an initial training session in organic vegetable production, they join the FA, pay R20 and
then receive a membership card for begin able to sell through the Cooperative. Collection points for the vegetables
are identified and set up. Farmers also sign up for the PGS. FAs meet monthly. The meetings contain a training slot
for discussion of quality and other issues, as well as a peer to peer section for discussion related to production and
marketing and leadership represents the FA on the cooperative board.
M1 farmers- receive 3 day training with 2 days follow up for each farmer. This training encourages the
introduction of new crops.
M2 farmers receive refresher courses and household visits. They produce food and sell excess. They have
joined the PGS and the cooperatives and have a membership card. They have started to sell produce through
the cooperative at the local collection points. Agri-mentors provide garden monitoring support. Variety of
crops planted also becomes important here.
M3 farmers are more advanced farmers (the top 30) who have developed bigger gardens and are selling
produce regularly; who have sold the most produce the most often to the cooperative. (11-14% of them sell
every week). They also need to have been members for at least 18 months and have 6 product lines or more.
They receive intensive mentoring in production planning, garden design, infrastructural support and
business skills. They receive a 10 module training course. They coordinate among themselves who grows
what and also grow specific crops with a market demand such as herbs. There are presently around 15 from
Hibiscus (HCC) and 15 from Mdoni and they interact to share knowledge and ideas.
M3 farmers have finalised their training and show success in building their micro enterprises, including
record keeping. They become mentors to the M2’s in their area.
Now a process for supply and demand is being piloted - working with the 87 best growers in HCM.
CFWs- receive 2x one day trainings in quality control each year as well as one-on-one training on quality
control from the Co-op manager.
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The Farmer Support Centre in Margate/Uvongo is set up as a training facility with a Permaculture demonstration
garden- and provides inputs to farmers such as organic seedlings, vermi-compost, organic sprays and soil
ameliorates. Experimentation with new crops and crop choices as well as different farming techniques is done here.
Markets are presently; restaurants, small retailers, and fresh produce/flea markets. Mdoni has organic customers in
Durban. Organisational stakeholders from Rotary and GCF, for example help with these markets. Durban Fresh
Produce Market prices are too low. Produce is collected from farmers and then decisions made about sales.
Presently the more reliable customers such as restaurants and GCFare being prioritized. Wastage isbetween 10-
45%.
Associated expertise
Around water have called on Agualima (Nick Alcock, Doug.) Plans for 4 farms have been put together for
fund raising (International, local Corporates, trusts and foundations, and some from the infrastructure
budget in Siyavuna)
SCGs for farmers’ associations: 24 groups. Initially started at collection point level, now working with farmers
associations. Some areas have many SCGs, some have none Around 50% have had one share out already
EMERGING OPTIONS
Contract growing: Negotiating with the municipal food for work programme; Siyazenzela, where workers
collect waste and are provided with food (including potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, butternut, and cabbage).
230 parcels are needed per month. 15 of the M3 farmers are involved in this.
NAG: Sales to crèches.
Cooperatives need to become independent in terms of marketing, marketing strategies, managing customers
and branding. At the moment Mdoni cooperative is more independent as the main markets for them have
been organised through a few of the cooperative board members. For the Hibiscus cooperative reliance on
SCD to find markets is still around 70%. There is a move to involve some of the farmers more directly and an
idea to capacitate 2 farmers from each cooperative to do the marketing. The mix between local informal
sales and external sales needs to be explored.
Sustainability of SDC: Training staff- to increase their skill sets and salaries, system for receiving donations
and commission to staff who get donations. Private courses in organic gardening; need to register with
SAIDE, FETs. Agriseta. Supply of seedlings and organics sprays etc from the centre to the public. Social
enterprise franchises at board level. Expand the Friends of Siyavuna circle (Dutch based).
DEVELOPMENT OF THE VALUE CHAIN
Seed is an issue. So far seed is bought from Hygrotech but there is often trouble with the OPV seed varieties- seem
not to be stable and lack of germination. Is there an option for producing seed within the farmers’ value chain?
For seedling production one grower has been supported in each of the 10 areas. They network as a group, exchange
information, so bulk buying, share stock and receive business training.
Compost making; One group in Mdoni is busy making compost to sell. This is a potential business opportunity that
can be promoted across the villages
Organic sprays, worm teas; being considered as a small business by one individual. Definite room for expansion.
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SYSTEMS
Communication with farmers
Bulk sms’s sent. This works well for informing farmers about meetings, but not
so well for price setting and changing of prices for produce. Price boards or
lists are provided at collection points.
Monthly farmers meetings with the 10 farmers Associations: Elected
representatives from these meetings reportto the cooperative boards and
bring back decisions form the board to the farmers. Siyavuna communication is
also managed here. A peer to peer section of the meeting is used for provision
of advice and information from the M3 to the M2 farmers and a training slot is
included.
Cooperatives
These need to become fully independent and sustainable and owned by the
community. Presently there is some tension between the cooperative needing
at the very least to break even and farmers wanting the best prices for their
produce. The cooperative prices are generally slightly lower than local prices.
Siyavuna has set up the cooperatives and does the administration and
oversight of the cooperative staff on behalf of the community. Siyavuna also
does the backstopping for the cooperatives. Now a monthly ‘cap’ or limit has
been set at 75%of a high expenditure month. The cooperatives need to learn
how to manage their own budgets. This is set at R15 000/month for Hibiscus
Cooperative.
From the constitution, board members are to consist of representatives of the
different organisations involved, outsiders with business know how and
community members.
Cooperatives have the following management systems in place; financials,
stock control system, HR system (SARS, UIF, and payments), customer
database and ordering system.
PGS system
Farmers become members of the farmers association and pay their yearly R30
fee. They then get a membership card and automatically become part of the
PGS system. They can start selling 3 months after they have joined to ensure
organic produce. Each farmer is given an initial inspection when they start to
sell to check their organic production techniques and ensure compliance.
Thereafter ‘spot’ visits are undertaken to selective farmers.
Monitoring and evaluation
M1 AND M2 FARMERS
There are training records in the form of pre and post tests and attendance
registers. Post training visits are done; 1 and 6 months after training.
Marketing Assumptions and
constraints
Assumption 1: circulate money in
2nd economy; sell into 1st economy
does this work as an idea?
Assumption2: Want local trade.
Constraints include a cash
economy in the villages this is
difficult to track and manage.
Negotiation with banks such as
Standard bank to set up e-wallet
systems- can all farmers
participate? What will this mean?
Presently vegetable collection and
sales work on a peti cash system.
Top ups are provided from Uxolo
or the cooperative bank account.
How is this coordinated? Is it
efficient?
Need a client database
Quality and supply and demand
balancing is a perennial issue that
leads to a lot of wastage and
losses for the cooperatives. These
losses come to around R1000-
R2000/month
Issues in M&E:
- Does SDC need more
quantitative information from M1
and M2 farmers; quantity of
crops, crop types, amounts eaten
and bartered, amounts sold,
incomes made?
- Pulling together and analysis of
data is slightly problematic. What
is required? What will it take?
- M3: Ned a database of produce
availability month by month for
planning seasonal and or yearly
synthesis.
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Information recorded includes; started gardening, income, and more food secure. The information in the garden
mentoring forms is more contextual- not much qualitative or quantitative information.
Need to monitor what is grown by whom, and how much of it to estimate weekly and monthly supply flows to
produce graphs to guestimate what the cooperative can expect and plan sales according to this. Estimates are also
needed of crop yields and areas under production.
SDC is thinking of setting up monitoring on tablets, using technology more smartly for up loadable information that
can directly be placed in databases and basic analysis done.
HOW THINGS ARE GOING
SUMMARY OF ISSUES TO CONSIDER
These questions were raised to consider during the interviewing process. The comments in capital letter summarises
the overall findings to these questions and are discussed further in the following sections.
1.Effectiveness of training for M1, M2 and M3. And the sharing of information by M3 farmers. COULD BE A
LOT MORE EFFECTIVE
2.Mentoring: What is the content? How effective is it? PROBLEMATIC NOT ENOUGH AND NOT ENOUGH
DEPTH
3.Cooperative support;is it leading to independence and ownership. Levels of independence ito budgeting and
planning NOT HIGH AND NOT PRESENTLY INCREASING
4.Farmers don’t know the price that the cooperative will offer THEY ONLY FIND OUT WHEN THEY COME TO
THE COLLECTION POINT
5.A sense that the cooperative gets the leftovers. YES THEY DO
6.Farmer involvement in price setting... or lack thereof. FARMERS MUST BE MORE INVOLVED
7.How do the cooperatives link what they buy to what they sell? NO CONSISTENT PROCESS Given the need
to buy whatever farmers have? THIS IS A PROBLEM. How can the coops make a profit? PRESENTLY UNABLE
TO MAKE A PROFIT
8.Seasonality of sales due to lack of water. Access to water is a big issue. MUST BE DEALT WITH BY SDC FOR
ALL FARMERS STARTING WITH IN FIELD TECHNIQUES IN THE GARDENS THAT FARMERS THEMSELVES CAN
IMPLEMENT
9.Climate change: Streams and small dams are now drying up in winter. Need more small dams, RWH off roofs
and local catchments; Not enough expertise in the organisation MUST DEVELOP SOME OF THESE
TECHNIQUES IN HOUSE URGENTLY
10.Introduction of speciality vegetables such as pakchoi, basil, thyme, rocket, frilly lettuce did not work;
Cooperative could not sell these- have a short shelf life. They tried salad packs which did not work THERE
ARE DEFINITELY OPTIONS FOR THIS- NEEDS A MORE COHERENT SUPPLY AND DEMAND SYSTEM TO WORK
11.Marketing strategies of the cooperatives....price is an issue; local sales compared to ‘town’ COMPETITION BY
COOPERATIVES WITH FARMERS SELLING LOCALLY COULD BE A PROBLEM. NEEDS VERY CAREFUL AND
TRANSPARENT INTRODUCTION
12.Cannot promise a continuous supply, but sometimes volumes are now too large. Possibility of contract
growing? YES
13.Getting new customers? Ordering by customers and how this is linked to supply if at all NEED A BETTER
SYSTEM
14.How to get the right amounts of the right produce at the right time? PLANNING OF PLANTING FOR ALL
FARMERS WHAT TO PLANT WHEN AND HOW MUCH, ON A BI-WEEKLY BASIS
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15.Marketing done by SDC- need to draw in farmers for them to take over; How to manage this process
FARMERS WILL STRUGGLE WITH MARKETING DIRECTLY. COOPERATIVE HAS TO HOLD THIS FUNCTION
16.Even sales for M3 farmers is quite low- yearly average of ~R3 500. AN ONGOING ISSUE
17.How do cooperatives calculate profits- and incorporate the subsidisation from Siyavuna into this. STILL
UNSURE WHETHER THIS IS DONE PROPERLY
18. Is the M1, M2, M3 system effective in providing the needed training and support. MORE FOUCSSED
SUPPORT IN ORGANIC FERTILITY AND WATER CONSERVATION AND HARVESTING AWA IN PRODUCTION OF
SPECIALITY AND MORE DIFFICULT VEGETALBE TYPES
Quality and quality control of produce
There has been a big challenge with pest and disease control. We make sprays here now to provide to farmers; garlic
spray, citronella, milk spray, bicarbonate of soda and wood ash spray Identifying of pest and diseases is still an
issue for farmers. Mix garlic spray with a little dry maize meal to allow it to stick to plants. There is some
improvement since we have been providing the sprays. We sell it at R10-R15 per 2 litre bottle.
This has a major impact on the marketing options and possibilities.
Around 15-30% of produce brought to collection points is rejected. A further30-50% of the produce being accepted
through the present quality control system needs to be sold at reduced prices as the produce is slightly sub-standard
small or ill formed heads for cabbages and lettuce, smallleathery slightly yellowing leaves for spinach, small
blemished bananas.
The system of using CFW, while commendable in terms of participation and ownership has a few drawbacks. The
main one isthat farmers can bring a lot of pressure to bear for their produce to be accepted even though all involved
are aware that it should be rejected. This was seen to occur at all 5 collection points visited. Also, each CFW has their
own set of standards as choice can be a subjective process notwithstanding the guidelines. This personalisation of
the process is something that farmers are aware of and find frustrating and de-motivating. It is difficult for
cooperative staff members to intervene here as the CFWs have the final say. They can also not gainsay some other
community members present, as these may be important people in their community and may also be cooperative
board members. Consider paying less for lower quality consider also working with more than one farmer to ‘pass’
produce at the collection point and train farmers as well.
The one day training in quality control seems to leave a bit to be desired. There was an example of very large
beetroots being discarded as being suspected of being grown with fertilizers; which implies the assumption that
organic produce is by nature smaller. This however has more to do with the present production processes than a
quality inherent in organic produce. More intensive training and mentoring in quality control is required.
Production support
Staff help to transport kraal manure and grass. It has to be arranged. More effort is put in for the people who are
very enthusiastic. Kraal manure is found locally. Some farmers provide the manure for free and some sell it to SDC.
Poultry and pig manure is also sourced and lately farmers have requested horse manure. Staff also promote making
of compost and liquid manure as well as planting of green manures. Building of soil organic matter through
introduction of diverse species including windbreaks is to be more consistently promoted.
A whole lot more attention needs to be given to organic methods for improving soil fertility. Manure per se is not
necessarily a good organic fertilization option as it depends highly on the quality of the manure. Further attention to
liquid manures and brews needs to be given as liquid manure made from infertile manure and then left open to the
elements will have almost no fertility value for the plants.
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There are already some beautiful examples in at community level that can be used more effectively.
Left: Here a drip irrigation 2 litre bottle
also serves as a record keeping system, to
ensure that rotations are followed in the
garden. This system ensures that Mabongi
knows what was planted in each bed and
what it will be followed with. She also
mixes herbs and soil condition plants with
her vegetables.
An onion and lettuce intercrop in a ‘sack
garden’ placed in parts of the garden
where soil is not deep or in this case to
border on a steep path for example is a
verygood use of limited space. The bags
can be packed with highly fertile soil and
compost mixtures and ‘batches’ of
vegetables can be planted according to a
planned schedule in this way.
Demonstration garden
The demonstration garden supports both cooperatives. It is planned to develop the garden into a fully fledged
permaculture demonstration under a garden manager. It is already a site for some M1 and M3 training and for
showing visitors the basics of organic gardening.
Further support is provided:
Small quantities of some of the speciality vegetable and herb varieties are planted to support the
cooperatives in their supply.
Agricultural inputs are collected for supply, such as grass, leaves and manure. Some are also made and
prepared for sale such as compost and pest and disease control sprays. The latter are sold at R10-R15/2l
bottle
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Seedlings are produced. They are then provided to the seedling nurseries in the communities as back up if
they do not have seedlings to supply.
It serves as a site for experimentation of new things; such as different varieties or new types of speciality
vegetables such as purple podded peas and yellow tomatoes. Once these show potential they can be
introduced to the cooperatives for sales potential and farmers.
It would be important to get some sense of how much the garden is presently supporting farmers and whether it
would make sense to expand this operation. Is it a financially justifiable activity?
Pricing
The number of farmers involved has reduced in this last year. Low prices offered through the cooperative is one of
the main reasons cited. As is difficulty in managing the infrastructural needs such as water provision and fencing.
Linking the farmers through SCGS that can provide savings and small loans for these processes is very important.
Far left: A cooperative staff
member fills in the supply form
at the collection point with
each farmers’ produce type,
quantity and monetary value of
produce.
Left; the benchmarking list of
prices for farmers is available
at the collection points.
Training
M1: The 3 day introduction training has a lot of paper work (Pre training questionnaire and post training evaluation)
and an assistant has now been brought in to help with that. The 1 month and 6 month follow ups do not always
happen as there are many participants in these trainings. There is also a need to collect materials for digging beds,
making compost, making the pest control brews etc.
This 3 day training by itself does not provide enough
‘impetus’ for the boost in production that is expected
to motivate farmers into the organic system and into
sales through the cooperatives. Further processes
are required here.
M2: refresher training based on farmers requests
done in FA meetings. There are too many farmers.
One M2 site may be visited only once a quarter,
then after that only look at the more active ones
those selling once or twice a month. Also cannot
force farmers to take on the new ideas. It works
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better for those who are selling every week as they get a lot more attention.
Left: refresher training in bed design done for a group of M2 farmers in Boboi, upon request in their FA meeting.
M3: 10 module course: 3 days. More detail than in the introduction. Other topics are introduced based on
experience with issues for farmers. Now starting with business start up issues, record keeping, budgeting, also bring
in some new ideas like earthworms and teams farming worms etc. Refresher trainings include business skills by the
M3’s, pest and disease control, growing seedlings, seasonal cropping, water harvesting (2 l bottles, digging swales
and ponds, mulching of paths and ideas from the farmers), maximising your space- container gardening. Also do
trainings for the (farmers Associations on quality.
M3 farmers then need to share what they have learnt at the FA meetings with other farmers. This year we gave
them worm farm start kits Last time we started with herbs (seeds) and also the pest control sprays and they get
something small as a gift. Some farmers continue and get the training once a year and new ones are brought on
board. And the more experienced ones will teach the others. Here we focus more on the theory. The practicals are
dealt with on a one on one mentoring. Follow-up takes time. Need to see them every 2months. Sometimes the agri-
mentors will assist. Field follow up does not always happen in depth and at the level of detail that may be required.
PGS
Registrations at FA meetings. Do the inspections for the PGs farmers; new and old. 12 Inspections are done per
month (even though there is a target of 30). Around 300 farmers HCC have registered new. If they are newly trained
they have to wait for 3 months before they can sell. But they can register for their PGS in the meantime.
There is a standardised form for the organic practices. Someone from FA has to join as well as the CFWs. Has to be a
surprise visit. Go with a list to area Look specifically for fertilizer and pesticide. by also looking for visible effects of
these.
If they fail they will be reported to the FA. And then the cooperative board and then they may be suspended for 2
years. About 10% of farmers will ‘cheat’- mostly this happens in the dry season when farmers are under strain and
their produce is not doing too well, but they feel pressurised to supply.
Farmers Association (FA) Meetings
Monthly meetings; Reports from exec and board meetings. 25-36 members per FA. Sometimes people are not selling
to the cooperative then they do not come to the FA meetings; maybe don’t have enough produce, seeds did not
germinate,
They are reminded with a bulk sms system. Discussions include the market demand lists (preferred crops),
information re write offs, the pricing and types and quantities of produce sold.
The meetings are not generally that well attended. Farmers get frustrated with repeating the same constraints
around inputs (fencing, water) and prices (that are low), but very little changing in that regard. They also do not
necessarily understand the benchmarking process or know how much a Kg of produce is. They just think that the
cooperative is making money.
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Farmers have started with suggestions how to deal with the supply and
demand issues. Some suggested that Siyavuna does a proper market survey to
determine the need so that they can plan. But at the moment it is not really
happening with the spinach for example. Farmers are not doing in-depth
planning.
Supply and demand
There is still some way to go in terms of assisting farmers to make a livelihood
from their sale of organic vegetables. Taking the top 30 farmers (selling often
and the most) the following can be seen;
Year
Average sales
Sales range
2013
R2 362/year
R1250-R4700/year
2014
R3456/year
R1000-R9000/year
From this it can be seen that there is a definite improvement from one year to
the next and the trend continues into 2015. This in itself is an enormous
achievement. It still however equates to an income of around R300/month
on average- which is quite low.
The different collection points will receive different amounts of produce,
depending on the number of farmers and the amount they produce.
For HCC for example there is a four day collection cycle as follows:
Day
Area and no of collection
points
Amount of produce
(Rands/week); Aug 2015
Tuesday
Madlala, Mavundla (2, 2)
~R1 000
Wednesday
Cilima (4)
~R1 800
Thursday
Nzimakwa (4)
R300-R500
Friday
Nositha, Vutshini (2,2)
~R1 000
There have been suggestions to institute biweekly collections in those areas
and villages that sell very little on a weekly basis as the resources required for
collections are high (<R500/ collection point. The worry however is that
eventually people will sell even less through the cooperative.
There is a consistent and ongoing problem with low prices offered through
the cooperatives. Farmers will sell through other avenues first and only offer
produce that they cannot sell elsewhere to the cooperative. There are a very
few individuals who prioritize the cooperative out of a sense of loyalty rather
than through short term financial gain- taking the longer term view.
If one looks at the summary of produce supplied to the HCC as an example for
the 2014 period, the highest quantities in Kg’s are for madumbes, bananas,
avocados and sweet potatoes- all crops that are not in particularly high
demand from the present customers, and also crops that are given little or no
quality control attention through the present support system. These are also
the crops where the highest write offs or wastage has been for the season.
MARKETING PROCESS
An order list is sent out on Thursdays
for the regular clients
The restaurants buy mainly Spinach,
lettuce, cabbage, carrots, leeks,
peas, green beans and fresh herbs.
They pick their vegetables directly
form the back of the truck. Waffle
House for example buys between
R500-R1 500 per week.
.
It is at present not possible to know
exactly what crops will be brought to
the collection points as farmers bring
what they have grown. This may or
may not include the preferred
vegetables of the buyers. Above for
example there is a small amount of
Moringa leaves supplied- for which
there is no longer an outlet.
March- August are not good supply
months- as winter and drought
reduces the amount of produce
farmers provide. Shortages of
peppers, green beans, peas, baby
marrows, pumpkin and butternut are
experienced (august 2105)
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Other preferred crops have been supplied in rather low quantities; such as carrots,
red peppers and peas.
Either find a way of constructively including the high turnover crops supplied to the
cooperative (including increasing production quality and finding specific reasonably
high value markets, or potentially remove these from the crop listings. Ways to
promote the growth of preferred crops need to be found.
Marketing
There is a constant tension between supplying for a specific market and respecting
the need for farmers to grow crops that they are familiar with and that can support
their food security requirements. Any marketing system used needs to balance these
two processes.
Marketing also needs to work on the principal that farmers spend most of their time
farming and that the marketing agent takes the primary risk in the sales arrangements
and does most of the work. This is likely to remain a subsidised arrangement into the
medium term and pushing the marketing agent (in this case presently still the
cooperatives) into immediate sustainability is likely to be counterproductive.
Given the supply chain of the vegetables through the cooperative/ marketing agent it
is not really an option to sell on through the bulk retail systems in operation as the
prices are too low (e.g. Spar, Fruit and Veg City etc). The speciality and niche markets
have to be enthusiastically cultivated.
Selling back directly into the community through the cooperatives is likely to set up an
uncomfortable competition as all farmers are already selling directly into their
communities anyway. This can however be done through programmes such
Siyazenzela, crèches, school feeding schemes, clinics, the Community Work
Programme and the like and these options need to be actively canvassed.
Consideration needs to be given to single crop marketing chains and options.
Amadumbe for example seems to be a common crop, but there is no good outlet for
these outside the communities. Bananas can be very difficult in this area, given that it
is also a commercial hub for banana production. Perhaps think here of a cold chain
process that retards ripening... as buying already ripe bananas is very problematic.
Storage of crops that can keep for some time such as butternuts, pumpkins and
onions needs to be considered more carefully so that they can be marketed at a more
even rate over a period of time.
Sales points that make less than R500 at a time seem to be counterproductive in
terms of costs to the cooperative A process of minimum delivery at the collection
points can be considered. It does not make sense to go to a collection point where the
crops on offer make up R100-R400. Perhaps a minimum of R500 can be considered.
Bulk outlets for substandard crops need to be found to recoup costs even if a profit
cannot be made.
Farmer testimonials (Mdoni)
Mr Dube an elderly gentlemen is
the secretary of the Danganyana
farmers association.Mr Dube
grew his vegetables mainly for
eating at home, gave some to
relatives and helped those in
need. After Siyavuna
membership he then became
market oriented with the aim of
increasing yields for maximizing
profits. “Siyavuna made me a
better person, I eat food, not just
food but fresh healthy vegetables
costing me almost nothing but
time
He links to the Qalaqkabusha
cooperative which was started in
2014, They have a large irrigated
plot and many members. These
have reduced mainly due to
peope wanting implements and
finding the prices offered for
their vegetables very low.
Mr Cele is a seedling grower for
the Qalakabusha co-operative
and is the CFW. He is very
passionate about seedling
production as well as gardening.
14
There is no incentive for farmers to plant the preferred crops as these also fetch a
comparatively low price and they do not have the alternative of using the produce
for food or selling locally. A different price setting mechanism may need to be
considered here.
It is possible to consider a price setting mechanism where a single price is offered
per kg of produce- regardless of what it is. And to differentiate the price on the
quality, such as a high price for very good quality, as well as a medium and low
price.
It is important to keep the marketing system open with options for farmers to sell
directly and to other buyers on an individual basis. There is an option however to
specify a certain percentage be grown for the cooperative and that with these
there would be a closely managed system for supply and demand.
Cooperatives
It appears if the March 2014 and March 2015 figures are compared that a lot of
progress has been made by the cooperatives in this last year in terms of dealing
with the discrepancies between the cost of purchasing vegetables and sales of
those crops. For 2015 there appears to be a sustained profit for the HCC of around
14% while the previous year there was a deficit. This however does not include all
the costs of the cooperative. Once these are included, the figures are once again in
the red. To a large extent the SDC cap payments cover the running costs of the
cooperatives as their profit only contributes around 15% of the costs.
Vehicle and salary expenses are comparatively high. Vehicle costs in particular can
be consolidated as there is a lot of driving up and down that happens due to
waiting for people to arrive and finalise their paper work at the collection points. It
would be possible to effect a saving of around R2000-R3000 per month if trips were
more consolidated.
It could be possible to consider people finalising collection the previous afternoon as
an example and then just picking up the produce in the mornings, rather than doing
numerous trips between the collection points.
Mr Zondi (SDC board member)
He has been involved since inception being part of the KwaDlalani traditional
council and having strong linkages with the local municipality and a passion for
community development. He states that Siyavuna was initially set up to support
the families involved with GCF with food security. This quickly developed to a more
entrepreneurial focus and the cooperatives were set up to work with the marketing
issues in the area.
Some of his comments included:
People were very frustrated in terms of the market and that’s why the
cooperatives were set up
Marketing has been a very challenging part of the process for the
Cooperatives. Wanted the cooperative to be independent. Siyavuna is a
Farmer testimonials (Mdoni)
Mrs Hlophe (47yrs) is the FA
Chairperson in the Danganya
area. She has farmed throughout
her life and currently produces
organic vegetables in her back
yard to ensure her family
livelihood and food security. She
ended the conversation by saying
“we may not leave with much in
the collection point, but R8 is
better than nothing”.
Mama Shabalala (~60yrs) stays
with her grandchildren and
considers farming a daily activity.
She finds theoretical learning
difficult but works with younger
farmers as her mentors ( Mrs
Khumalo and Mrs Cele). She sells
mostly through Siyavuna as the
community want to buy and pay
little or buy on credit..he made
around R1 500 for the last season
selling herbs. She also sells on
order to Agrihub; mostly
speciality lettuce.
15
link with funders and markets. Siyavuna is carrying the burden of all
the funding.
The Cooperative itself is sceptical that it could handle the marketing
alone. They should have their own account, to run their own funding
and budgets as well as administration. Both staff and farmers were
worried about this.
Budgeting has been an ongoing problem.but there is a sense of
ownership developing and they are making their own budgets and
payments.
Cooperative needs to identify their own products and price
benchmarking. The board members are not that involved. Siyavuna has
held this process. First the board needs to be empowered - the board
members are all farmers... In terms of the constitution the board
members must own it. Believe that it is possible to help the farmers to
start being more proactive around marketing “teach us the business”.
We can’t really identify what is being sold by the farmers locally. Want
to see how much that is- to get a sense of the demand. Our concern is
that there is a lot of waste, which costs the cooperative.
Mr Zondi does not see a conflict of interest in the cooperative selling in
the community. DoA is supporting that for the crèches- the major
challenge for us is still constant production. We did have a deal with
Spar, but did not have the continuity.
We had discussion with municipality since they provide funding
through LED. They can give 100ha to identify 3 products to supply the
demand of the institutional markets. Siyazenzela. Food parcels for
collecting refuse. But can the supply be constant? And backstopping
cannot be organic produce
We can do more in terms of exposure for marketing and exposure and
coming up with ideas and promoting the brand and the concept soa
post has now been created.
This is a very unique programme. There is real community investment. It
provides a lifetime opportunity for people and people will continue with this.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Seed and seedlings
Presently it would appear that the cheap seed from Hygrotech is also old.
A packet bought on the day of interviews had an expiry date of 2013. This
could be the main reason for germination problems farmers are
experiencing and has to be remedied immediately
It is important that Siyavuna has seed to sell of the lists of preferred crops
to be planted...The seedling growers cannot supply the seedlings without
Mrs Mabongi Cele (Mdoni)
She is a very innovative farmer and tries
out many different new ideas.
She feels that Siyavuna is one of her
selling options. Advantages are: - I am
mentored and am still learning so that
makes a good trade for the lower
prices.- this way I can have access to
urban markets A vehicle comes to pick
up the produce here and I don’t need to
worry about transport It has helped
with negotiating relationship with
retailers such as SPAR where I also sell.
Among other things, she keeps seeds,
grows in bags, keeps earthworms and
makes up pest and disease control
brews for learning sessions and selling
to the community
16
having access to these seeds. So for example there presently appears to be
a lack of seed for leeks, spring onions and brinjals.
For the seedling nurseries, some plant only on order, some are still busy, so
the supply is quite small. Mentoring in seedling production and making of
mediums (it is tricky growing seedlings in organic mediums and liquid
manure, teas and other fertigation options need to be considered. The
plugs also dry out very easily and repeated drying and wetting quickly kills
seed. Sterilization and sanitation needs to be given attention. It makes
sense for seedling growers to also be working with earthworms.... the tea
is a very good fertigation option. The reasons for others not operating well
need to be clearly understood and dealt with.
Hygrotech does not always deliver - with germination they have not
responded to the complaint. We want to change form Hygrotech as
farmers have complained a lot... farmers can also blame the seed, but
sometimes at the demonstration garden it comes up quite nicely
Own production: There are a number of the M3 farmers with both the
capacity and interest to start producing their own seed on a limited scale
for some of the crops. There are a few saving seed such as rocket, basil
spring onions and onions already. It would be more difficult for cabbages,
spinach beetroot as these are bi-annual crops. There are other crops such
as carrots, leeks, brinjals, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce and the like which
would be easy to work with. Attention would need to be given to the
original seed stock provided.
Production support
Generally the practical support and field visits are lagging behind for M1,
M2 and M3 farmers with around 53% of targeted visits taking place. This is
an important process where changes in farming practice needs to be
strongly promoted- as training in itself does not usually lead to changes in
implementation.
The role of agri-mentors can be strengthened- they need to be better
linked into the overall processes within Siyavuna and the cooperatives and
need a higher level of skill in organic production to provide in depth
support to individual farmers
Some attention needs to be given to fruit production and increasing the
quality of fruit being offered for sale. Presently the mentoring and support
does not include fruit production
A wider range of soil fertility improvement techniques need to be offered
and tried out at M1 and M2 level as generally the quality of the organic
produce being produced is lower than conventional produce. This is
becoming normative, but is not in reality a truth. Organic produce can be
as good as or better than conventionally produced crops.
Agri-mentors could provide incentives for farmer experimentation with soil
fertility management techniques (M1 and M2 level) This should be clearly
included as a separate heading in the mentoring forms as”NEW PRACTICES
TRIED AND IMPLEMENTED”.
SEEDLING NURSERY: Mrs Mkhize
Cilima (HCC)
SDC provided materials for
construction of part of a small
nursery which has been extended by
Mrs Mkhize at her own cost. She
employs 2 people in her fields that
also help with collection of water for
the nursery. Water is not available
close by.
She has two large Jo-Jo tanks at her
homestead and a community hand
pump close by, but needs larger
amounts of water. She buys seed
from SDC and sells the seedlings per
tray at R50. She also takes dishes of
seedlings to the collection point for
sale. She makes around R250 for
each packet of seed she buys and
makes an income of around R250-
R300/week from seedlings.
Her coasts are very low, at around
R5/seedling tray. She plants around
40 trays at a time.
As she starts to sell one batch of
seedlings, she plants her next batch,
so that she can have a continuous
supply.
She is part of an SCG. Last year she
contributed R250/month, this year
R500/month. It helps a lot in terms
of cash flow(through small loans of
up to R2000) for her enterprises
(bought seed and crates) and she
has also bought furniture She is
saving for school fees as well.
17
Attention needs to be given to the quality of the manure that is being
used. Methods to improve quality of manure need to be introduced; the
easiest being of composting kraal manure (from overnight rest spots for
livestock that includes manure, urine and hair) with grass or a good carbon
source. Addition of lime to this composting process needs to be
considered if acidity is an issue.
More attention should be given to crops that are hard to ‘get right’ such as
carrots, cabbages and tomatoes.
Quality control
Attention needs to be given to the way quality control is done at collection
points:
There could be a backstopping person to finally vet produce that is not
personally involved
Consider paying differential prices for differential quality and provide
higher prices for good quality produce than is presently the case, but
lower values follower quality and minimal values for ‘just sellable’ quality.
Include careful handling of produce at collection points in the quality
control learning points; a fair amount of bruising and rough handling
happens to produce that will show some hours later at selling points.
Specifically easily bruised produce such as paw-paws, bananas, rocket,
spinach etc. Stuffing these into black plastic bags and crates is too rough.
Pricing, supply and demand
Farmers sell around 10- 30% of what they produce through the Cooperatives,
they use around 30% for household consumption. The rest is sold elsewhere.
The cooperatives are losing rather than gaining members who are selling
due to perceived low prices paid to farmers. A number of considerations
may need to be made
Farmers need to have a better understanding of the prices, and what
they are paying for through the ‘lower’ prices – mentoring, transport,
relationships with retailers etc.
Reducing the percentage that the cooperative takes when doing their
benchmarking. A split of 40/60 (coop/farmer) was decided in the
beginning and has thus far not been questioned.
Doing a broader benchmarking exercise per season rather than
changing prices on a monthly basis and provide these prices upfront
prior to planting so that farmer know what they will get.
Providing price incentives for preferred crops to promote their
cultivation and also bonuses for better farmers or for sales over a
certain weight.
Planning for and providing timed batches of seed and seedlings to
producers of specific niche vegetables needs to be considered and
this needs to be linked to specific buyers. Build on the supply and
demand system that has been initiated with the 87 farmers in HCM.
Mr and Mrs. Khumalo (Mdoni)
They were introduced to organic
farming through the Ultra City group
and became passionate. They try out
many inventive gardening techniques
and processes including making
compost on a large scale for sale in the
community and they need a lot as
their garden keeps on expanding.
They sell through Siyavuna, but feel
they can make more profit selling
directly to the community and shops.
Their long terms goal is to have a
training centre at their homestead.
18
Differential prices for different quality produce; maybe even the same price for everything but difference comes
in quality- low, medium and high
Have an open production system where people plant what they want, but specify for around 30% of the
production area.
Marketing needs to be given a lot more attention. There is already some competition from a similar enterprise
called Agri-hub that sells in and around Durban.
Farmers need to be given a taste of what the marketing involves, so that they understand better. They need to
know for example what SPAR will pay them, not the price on the shelf per se.
Put a system in place for informing the cooperatives and FAs about new crops and quantities that are required.
The present system of working out who is already growing that crop and then suggesting that people increase
their areas of production seems somehow extremely time consuming. Ways in which farmers will take on more of
this process and record their quantities need to be considered. Crops like butternut, onions, chillies, potatoes and
cucumber need immediate attention.
Consider a system where farmers ‘pledge’ (based on farm level planning with a facilitator) certain crop types and
certain quantities of these seasonally to the cooperative as a way to get to grips with the potential supply
Consider a system of bulk production by all farmers of a ‘standard basket’ of crops that can provide a baseline
income for them and that can be sold in single crop marketing systems in higher volumes. These could include the
non perishable crops such as onions, butternuts, pumpkins, potatoes, sweet potatoes and amadumbe.
Consider not including some of the community level staple crops that have low bulk marketing options such as
cabbages
There are suggestions about doing value adding through the cooperatives. Things like making lettuce packs or to
package the vegetables as one would find them in shops- e.g. putting carrots in clear plastic bags without their
tops, banana chips, etc. One or two ideas need to be tried out to give these ideas some life in terms of their
potential
There are also suggestions for agri-hubs as resource centres and for trading. Then farmers can take their produce
there every day to be sold back into the community and supply perhaps 2x/week to Siyavuna.
A number of existing clients can buy a whole lot more produce. This has to be dealt iwth a a matter orurgency- so
that this demand can be met.
SCGs
Strongly consider ensuring that M2 and M3 farmers belong to SCGs and provide active mentoring for use of small
loans and share outs for agricultural production. There is presently no overt link made.
Soil fertility management
A much wider range of options needs to be introduced here along with water conservation options and
diversification systems to include for example small livestock for high quality manure. Composting of manure would
be required as a minimum to increase the quality.
Green manures and cover crops as well as bulking biomass need to be introduced. There is also little evidence of
coherent rotation and inter cropping being practiced, although this has most certainly been introduced
19
APPENDIX 1: OUTLINE OF SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
Potential: Stakeholders and interview themes
NAG
GaCF; Basil Woodhouse
Rotary: Tony Fulness, Bruce Macky: Roles, understanding of coop functioning, financials, take on issues of
sustainability and markets,
Cooperative board members: Roles, understanding of coop functioning, financials, take on issues of
sustainability and markets, relationship with farmers associations and different communities and individual
farmers? Understanding of what cooperatives are doing and should be doing/ can this be a completely
community run thing? What will need to happen for that to be possible?
Mthetho: coop manager: Coordination of demand and supply? System? Issues? New ideas? Who thinks
about this? Who decides? Value adding and agri processing. Customers- management, new customers?
Crop planning how, by whom how is it communicated? Selling at pension points- how is that working in
comparison to other customers
Farmers Associations (10?): Committee? Agendas? Discussion? Decision making/ Planning, issues around
cropping? Budgeting?...membership? New members? Re-election of committees? Role of committee?
Elected representatives? Reporting to coop boards? Decisions of boards to farmers?
Community field workers: JD, how decisions are made about quality, what to accept and what not how do
farmers respond? Are prices discussed. Forms?
Nomthi, Julia: SCGs (24): Their roles, no of groups, saving for farming, planning for this? Use of small loans
and share outs? Planning for production? Budgets? ... (Themba Lushaba’s group has an SCG) How do the
SCGs link with the Siyavuna work (NEED INFO HERE) How are the groups set up? Linkages with collection
points and farmers associations? Distribution of the SCGs across areas?
M3 farmers: Cropping/ Decisions about cropping? Related to the coop? How do you coordinate among each
other?
Agri mentors: Nyaniso and Zamani: Is this mentoring efficient/ is it working? Describe and discuss mentoring
process? What forward and backward linkages are considered? Does it lead to an increase in production?
An increase in confidence? And ownership? How would you know? Record keeping and monitoring? How do
you provide support for farming techniques? For technical knowledge such as products, what to grow for the
market and how to do it, records and record keeping?
Philani: Seedling growers? Production, sales, record keeping, business training and management, logistics...
Farmer involvement Questions
Please take pictures of farmers preferably with their garden and or some produce..
Basic personal information: Name, surname, gender, age, village, area, farmers Association, roles (on FA committee,
Community field worker...)
Farmers; M1, M2, M3
1.Involvement; when started, what do you do? Crops produced, how much? Size of garden?
2.When trained, value of that in increased production
3.What training still needed? M1, M2, M3? Do you know how that works- does it make sense on the ground?
Which are you? How do you move from one to the next?
4.Describe mentoring and what happens there?
5.What incentives would work for you to produce and sell more to the coop?
6.Collection points- does it work?
7.When joined the Farmers Association and PGS, How that works for you..
8.Money made through Cooperative how that works
20
9.Money made elsewhere qualify and quantify
10.Proportion of production used for household and food quality an quantify
11.Prices paid for different veg which ones work? Are you aware of these? How do you compare these with
other prices? Who else buys?
12.How do you decide what to grow and sell?
13.Do you know how much it costs to produce your vegetables?
14.Access to resources? (E.g. seed, seedlings, compost, liquid manures, etc...)
15.How do you save for your production?
16.What are the advantages of being a member?
17.Do you know how the cooperative sells the vegetables and how they set the prices that they offer to
farmers?
18.How do you link to your cooperative? And farmers association?
19.How does the FA make decisions and what kind of decisions do you make together and by yourselves?
Community field workers
A few additional questions above the farmers’ ones
1.How long have you been a CFW? What do you do as a CFW?
2.How do you link to your FA and coop? Please describe the activities and process? Regarding the training in
quality and measurement can you relate it directly to your receiving of produce? Describe how you do this
3.How do farmers respond?
4.How do you link to the FA’s and the coops? What is your role? What information do you give and get?
5.What are the issues?
6.Do you do the packaging? How? How does this get paid for?
7.Markets?
Farmers’ Association
1.How does the FA work? What does the FA do?
2.New members? How does this work?
3.Are all the members involved? DO members attend every month or irregularly?
4.Different roles for M1, M2 and M3?
5.What kinds of discussions do you have around production and marketing?
6. Regarding the learning sessions, what happens there? What have you learnt? Or need to learn? Is it helpful?
7.Local options for sales?
8.Price benchmarking?
Cooperative (and staff)
1.As a member of the cooperative what is your process and involvement.
2.What do you understand as the role of the cooperative
3.Relationship with the board? Explain how that works
4.How does the cooperative make an income?
5.What are the monthly costs and how do you do a budget?
6.Prices? Does it work? How is this communicated to the collection points?
7.What happens to that income?
8.Do you feel that you own the cooperative?
9.What are the issues?
10.Relationship with farmers?
11.Customers, crop choices, planning of supply and demand....
21
12.Market research and coordination of product lists; how is this done? How useful is it? How does it relate to
the produce received?
13.Backward linkages to farmers associations’ and farmers; what are they? How do you communicate? What do
you need to know and what do farmers need to know?
Cooperative staff
Hibiscus Agric Coop: Nhu and Ntombifuthi, Mdoni:.....
1.How did you get this job? What does it entail
2.How long?
3.How do you relate to the farmers? Explain interactions
4.Explain how you set prices and how you communicate with farmers
5.Describe your other responsibilities
6.How do you link to the farmers associations and individual farmers
7.What are the expenses of the cooperative?
8.How do you pay for these?
9.How do you do budgeting and financial planning for the cooperative.
10.How do you link what you buy to what you sell?
11.Management systems and record keeping: Customer database and ordering system, HR system and records,
Stock control database, Financials. Please explain how these happen, who does them and show examples.
Price benchmarking
1.Benchmarking once a month- how is it done? How is it communicated? How do farmers respond? Is it
suitable? Does it work? What of the 60/40 ratio for the cooperative ito income? How to involve farmers
more directly?
Systems
1.Explain how the bulk sms system works. What information is sent and received, how are records kept of
this? Who is on the ‘list”? How do you update that? How often?
2.Which sms’s work better?
3.Seedling growers and ordering system? Sales system at collection points? How, who does it, records kept?
Business records of seedling growers?
4.Ordering of other inputs? Agri-inputs order book? What happens, what is the process?
5.Seeds?
6.Farmers’ sales data? How is this done? Explain people involved and the process?
7.PGS- how does this work? Who manages this and how (Pearl??) Market research and coordination of
product lists; how is this done? How useful is it? How does it relate to the produce received?
8.Backward linkages to farmers associations’ and farmers; what are they? How do you communicate? What do
you need to know and what do farmers need to know?
9.Supply and demand... how is this dealt with
Monitoring and evaluation
10.What is grown by whom? How do you determine this at the moment? Weekly and monthly supply flows?
How do you get an idea of this?
11.Crops and Yields? How is this measure, by whom and what happens to this information?
12.PGS? It’s importance and role?
Who needs to know what? And how is this information provided?
Who makes which decisions?
22
Where are the bottlenecks and gaps?
ACTIVITIES
Swot ANALYSIS
- Explore independence,
sustainability. Supply of inputs and
infrastructure, market research,
coordination of production lists
and supply with demand,
backward linkages to farmers,
REACH
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
INTERVIEW SCHEDULE
Individual and or group interviews should last around 1-1,5hours each. We will want to talk to a lot of people and
will need your help in scheduling as many interviews as possible within 3 days.
Please indicate if persons requested are close to each other, as the team can then interview them at the same time...
We will be able to do 2-3 concurrent interviews in English and isiZulu.
Days are interchangeable- although 3rd day for a staff and office day would be best- to cover what we have not
discussed with farmers and groups already. We are also assuming that as Mdoni is a smaller and newer area that the
day will be shorter- which is why we put it first as we will be arriving in the morning.
Area
Person
Theme
Day, time,
Interviewer/s
DAY 1
Mdoni
Farmer x 1
Compost making group for sale (Sandile)
Pm
Erna; Eng,
Mazwi: Zulu
Coop staff
member:x1
or 2
Issues in coop management,
sustainability, financials etc
pm
Erna; Eng,
Mazwi: Zulu
Try and
coordinate
for joining
and FA mtg
FA
Meeting and focus group discussion
1-3 M1and M2 interviews
am
Erna, Mazwi, Luh,
Sane...
And
observation
of
collection
point
CFW
Collection point observation and
interview
am
Erna, Mazwi,
Luh,Sane
Farmers x 3
Farmer interviews from different areas/
villages in Mdoni (3 from ea collection
point or 3 within one collection point)
M3
pm
Mazwi, Luh, Sane
Stakeholder
NAG, Rotary or GaCF representatives
linked to Siyavuna open ended
discussion
Early evening
Erna, Sane.
Sales point
Join a staff member going to sales point
and interacting Customer service,
branding, etc open discussion
Early evening
Mazwi, Luh
DAY 2
Hibiscus
Farmer?
Lady making organic sprays and worm
teas for sale
pm
Mazwi; Zulu
23
Farmer?
1 or 2 of the seedlings producers for the
collection points
pm
Luh: Zulu
Sane; Zulu
Coop staff
member?
Issues in coop management,
sustainability, financials etc
pm
Erna; Eng,
Mazwi: Zulu
FA
Meeting and focus group discussion
1-3 M1and M2 interviews
am
Erna, Mazwi, Luh,
Sane...
CFW
Collection point observation and
interview
am
Erna, Mazwi
Farmer
Farmer interviews from different areas/
villages in Hibiscus(3 from ea collection
point or 3 within one collection point)
M3
pm
Mazwi, Luh, Sane
Stakeholder
NAG, Rotary or GaCF representatives
linked to Siyavuna open ended
discussion
Early evening
Erna, Sane.
Sales point
Join a staff member going to sales point
and interacting Customer service,
branding, etc open discussion
Early evening
Mazwi, Luh
DAY 3
SDC
Mthetho
Coop manager; markets, crèches,
Coop bank account- management,
involvement..
am
Erna; Eng
Pearl
FA mtgs; process, value, follow up of
issues raised, report backs from and to
coops, new members, ...
M&E; what is done, how, how often?
Problems and options
am
Mazwi; Eng/Zulu
Sandile
Training and mentoring; M&E of
mentoring visits- technical content and
quality control of visits...M3
am
Erna; Eng
Philani
M1: Open ended discussion around
training, uptake, monitoring and
processes
Luh,Sane
Nomthi
Role of SCGs what is recorded; loans,
share outs, linkages with veg production,
FAs, coop, value adding. Budgeting and
planning, linkage to SDC
Mazwi; Eng/Zulu
Nyaniso,
Zamani
Agri mentors: Role, content, monitoring
what how summarised, who visited how
often, supervision, crop planning?,
linkages to FAs and Coops
Luh, Sane;
Eng/Zul
Key
informants
Small focus group including Mr Khusi, .....
and 3-4 other including perhaps Coop
chair persons, and those who are very
active and with imaginative ideas for
farming and community engagement
pm
Erna, Mazwi, Luh.
Sane....
Roles of different staff members
Cooperative manager: Mthetho
Capacity building of coop staff (2 full time)
Coordination of supply and demand.
Management of community field workers (18+3) R200-R500/month)
24
Management of collections; (once/week drives the van (1 van picks up from 7 areas between Tuesday and
Friday)
Management of record keeping and payment of cash to farmers
Value adding and agri-processing
Community field workers (21)
Members of farmers associations; elected as CFWs
Receive training in quality control, hygiene, customer service
They receive the vegetables 1x/week at the collection points from farmers and fill in the forms
Have a kit consisting of; scale, paper, calculator.
Packaging of produce at collection points...
Agri-mentors:
Nyaniso and Zamani: Visit each participating farmer (M2) once per quarter, to mentor regarding organic
production
They work and coordinate activities with Sandile (M3 trainer and mentor)
Value adding and agri -processing.
Training and mentoring managers
Sandile: M3 farmers
Pearl: M2 farmers; runs the 10 Farmers meetings with the M2 farmers, including a training slot. M3 farmers
share their experiences here. Also manages PGS system???
Philani: M1 farmers; entry and training (3 day course)