Smallholder farmers in South Africa face a myriad of significant challenges, from tenuous land rights and insufficient access to finance and commercial markets, to limited institutional support, poor mechanisation, and poor quality control. TechnoServe, with funding from Irish Aid, have been engaged in a three-year project (June 2014 to June 2017) to improve the commercialisation of vegetable farmers in Kwazulu-Natal; Limpopo; and Mpumalanga.
Blue North have been contracted by TechnoServe to conduct an end-of-project impact evaluation, using a series quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis techniques.
TechnoServe has a private enterprise approach to improving the commercialisation of smallholder farmers. At the core of the TechnoServe model is the provision of a zero-interest recoverable grant facility, used by smallholder farmers to finance expensive inputs. This is complemented with technical and business guidance, in addition to the facilitation of market linkages.