Presentation on theme: "Sustainable Agricultural Practices for Small Scale Farmers: Service Provider Interviews Folashade Adalumo Tuessday July 29, 2014."— Presentation transcript:
Sustainable Agricultural Practices for Small Scale Farmers: Service Provider Interviews Folashade Adalumo Tuessday July 29, 2014
SURVEY RESPONSES from USDA and Extension Professionals Concerning Sustainable Agricultural Practices (SAPs)
SAPs USED Five respondents noted that soil testing was more popular among AAFs, while three respondents thought hoop houses was more popular. In terms of SAPs used by farmers, drip irrigation under plastic, manure testing, and reduced chemical application.
BARRIERS TO ADOPTING SAPs Funding: Lack of funding, a larger company looks at the bottom line and will most likely do anything to increase the bottom line or profit margin; a small grower would rather pay $10 to fuel his tractor than pay it for soil testing; also, inadequate staff, budgets cut back, so we (extension personnel) can’t travel as much.
BARRIERS TO ADOPTING SAPs Knowledge: Lack of information; lack of formal education, inefficient methods of delivering information to the farmers, lack of information about the kinds of programs available, etc.
BARRIERS TO ADOPTING SAPs Trust: Past experience with the government, past experience with USDA personnel, younger farmers were more likely to go to USDA offices than older farmers.
BARRIERS TO ADOPTIING SAPs Planning: Inadequate succession planning, farmers not keeping records. Finally, most of the larger farm operators don’t stay on the farmland so they might not think as much about the impact they are having on the land compared to a small grower who stays on the farm (with his family).
EFFECTS OF NOT ADOPTING SAPs Farmers could suffer physically because they use chemicals and do not know the right application methods.
SUGGESTIONS TO INCREASE SAP PARTICIPATION Education Frequent meetings so as to engage all the communities. Have live demonstrations (let them see e.g., a hoop house demonstration). Teaching backyard gardening (collecting egg shells and the coffee grounds to use as fertilizer).
SUGGESTIONS TO INCREASE SAP PARTICIPATION Education: Using the media, e.g., recording a practice, put it on a you-tube channel and share with other farmers. Mobile technology center on an18 wheeler, 20 to 25 computer lab making it available primarily in the rural areas, constant follow- up (weekends, the weekdays).
SUGGESTIONS TO INCREASE SAP PARTICIPATION Planning: Adequate planning is needed by the farmers. Some of the planning issues that need to be addressed include: sustainability, continuous succession planning, and record keeping.
SUGGESTIONS TO INCREASE SAP PARTICIPATION Funding: Low or no cost share. Seek startup resources that are needed to get started. Adequate allocation of financial incentives and grant monies can generate positive results.
SUGGESTIONS TO INCREASE SAP PARTICIPATION Funding: Soil testing should be free (extension workers use to go to the farmers and collect samples), showing the farmers the benefits of becoming certified.
SUGGESTION TO INCREASE SAPs PARTICIPATION Increased Partnerships: Government, NGOs, universities, different organizations pulling together to assist those farmers to gain an area of sustainability in their practices both for economic and ecological reasons.
SUGGESTION TO INCREASE SAPs PARTICIPATION Increased Partnerships: Partnering with local farmers who are already using SAPs as peer group testimony (a farmer/neighbor shares their expertise or success) works wonders.
SUGGESTION TO INCREASE SAPs PARTICIPATION Increased Resources: Meeting farmers infrastructure needs, Creating markets for farmers’ to sell their organic produce can stimulate them to adopt.
REASONS FOR NON PARTICIPATION IN USDA PROGRAMS Funding: Most programs favors large corporate & conventional farms to small growers, 10% cost share of the EQUIP program is too high for small scale farmers to pay.
REASONS FOR NON PARTICIPATION IN USDA PROGRAMS Land Issues: Farmers don’t have clear title to the property (some farmers work on heir property so they won’t qualify for some USDA programs). Farmers with leased property may find it difficult to practice on the land because the land owner does not want it, farmers may have to leave a property when the lease expires.
REASONS FOR NON PARTICIPATION IN USDA PROGRAMS Trust: Many prejudices that existed in the organization in the past (negative history or past experience), older farmers don’t trust the government, high level of criticism still exists (getting a loan way in May when you should have gotten it in February), some farmers are reluctant to make applications, older farmers would be more reluctant to go to USDA than younger farmers.
SUGGESTIONS FOR INCREASING PARTICIPATION IN USDA PROGRAM Gaining the trust of the farmers: Going out to the communities and build that trust, that you have a program that is useful for them; increasing the exposure of as many rural client participant farmers to the computer especially the older farmers so they can be independent.
SUGGESTIONS FOR INCREASING PARTICIPATION IN USDA PROGRAM Assistance in the application process: Make sure farmers qualify before they go into the NRCS office. If you help farmer solve a problem they will come back to you and you will have gained his trust.
SUGGESTIONS FOR INCREASING PARTICIPATION IN USDA PROGRAM Having a strong communication channel: Having small groups or gatherings of famers. One on one consultations. Set up meetings in different places closer to farmers especially older farmers, follow-up is important. Go to small farmer's church, where his kids are. It’s just a little bit more convincing, nontraditional ways to get to them.
Increasing or maintaining the level of funding for: Sustainability programs 2501 SARE Producer Grants (that farmers didn't have to pay back) SUGGESTIONS FOR FARM BILL OR TO INCREASE NUMBER OF YOUNGER FARMERS
Lower the cost share, Create incentives to utilize some of the practices (research and technology) that presently exist, Have incentives for new and beginning farmers (expand the beginning farmer program), Create mini grants (e.g.. From facilities like Ala- Tom), More programs should be geared towards infrastructural needs of farmers.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FARM BILL OR TO INCREASE NUMBER OF YOUNGER FARM ERS Review programs: For example, the NRCS drip irrigation program is limited to farmers with at least 10 acres. There is a need to review this requirement so it can accommodate more small growers.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FARM BILL OR TO INCREASE NUMBER OF YOUNGER FARMERS Review Programs: Producer Grants, Research and Education Grants, PDP Grants, Training Grants, that help to retool extension and NGOs that work directly with farmers.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FARM BILL OR TO INCREASE NUMBER OF YOUNGER FARMERS Support: Outreach education mentorship types of programs with CBOs, Technical assistance geared towards women farmers, especially, educating and preparing farmers for that EQIP program.
Acknowledgements Federation of Southern Cooperatives (FSC) Land Assistance Fund, Tuskegee University George Washington Carver Agricultural Experiment Station and the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Tuskegee University Dr. Robert Zabawa Dr. Nii Tackie Dr. Souleymane Fall Dr. Henry Findlay Dr. Ntam Baharanyi FSC personnel who assisted with administering the survey