|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (November 2009)|
Farm Africa (formerly FARM-Africa) is a UK-based charitable organisation (no 326901) founded in 1985 that works with farmers, pastoralists and forest communities in eastern Africa. The charity provides training to help these groups to grow more and better quality food crops, improve care for their livestock and make a living using their natural resources sustainably.
Vision, mission and values
Vision: A prosperous rural Africa
Mission: to reduce poverty permanently by unleashing African farmers’ abilities to grow their incomes and manage their natural resources sustainably.
Values: Farm Africa believes that smallholder farmers can and will play a role in achieving rural prosperity in Africa. We will deliver this by:
- Being experts in our field: delivering insightful and impactful evidence-based solutions
- Pushing boundaries: being creative with old and new solutions and approaches
- Acting for the long-term: building relationships and delivering long-term change for farmers
- Working flexibly: taking advantage of the most effective solutions, whether from communities, the private sector, civil sector or government
- Sharing knowledge with others: reaching more farmers than we could alone and ensuring that effective technologies are widely accessed.
History, governance and finances
Farm Africa was founded in 1985 by Sir Michael Wood and David Campbell as a practical response to the 1983-85 famine in Ethiopia. Rather than delivering food aid, they proposed that development should focus on developing more stable and secure livelihoods for small farmers and pastoralists, as the key to reducing rural poverty.
In 1987 Farm Africa started work with nomadic pastoralists in remote northern Kenya, expanding to Ethiopia a year later. Today Farm Africa works with agricultural communities in five countries of eastern Africa (it was forced to withdraw from South Sudan in 2013), supporting crop and livestock development, aquaculture and sustainable forestry.
Farm Africa is governed by a Board of Directors (trustees) who bring together expertise from the UK and East Africa. The chair is Richard MacDonald, a former director-general of the UK’s National Union of Farmers.
The senior management team, under chief executive Nigel Harris, is responsible for implementing the strategic direction and day-to-day management. Farm Africa has grown steadily in size and income. In 2015 it employed around 200 staff, around 80% of whom are based in Africa. in 2014 income was £14 million, nearly twice that of 2010, of which £10 million was from institutional donors, with the remainder from a variety of sources, including individual givers, corporate partnerships and fundraising events.
By 2016 Farm Africa aims to directly help 1.5 million people each year to build food security and implement sustainable agricultural and forestry management practices to better withstand climate change challenges, protect natural resources and enhance productivity.
Farm Africa has programmes in four eastern African countries.
Ethiopia – Major programmes include food security in Tigray, natural resource conservation and forest management in the Bale Eco-Region and BRACED (Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters), a series of interlinked projects which help farmers to diversify economic activity, reduce the impact of shocks and adapt to climate change.
Kenya – Programmes focus helping on smallholder farmers, pastoralists and women diversify incomes and lift themselves out of poverty. Programmes include supporting farmers to grow crops such as cassava, sorghum, green grams, mango and passion fruit, to develop fish farming and aquaculture shops, and support poultry raising and marketing of products. In addition, Farm Africa founded SIDAI, an innovative veterinary service, whereby franchises sell good quality branded products to farmers and pastoralists. Farm Africa in Kenya is also manages The Maendeleo Agricultural Enterprise Fund (MAEF), a venture philanthropy programme, which works across countries. MAEF works to identify, support and scale-up rural enterprises that contribute to a functioning market that smallholders can engage with, thereby lifting themselves out of poverty
Tanzania – Farm Africa has operated in Tanzania since 1990 and now has a range of programmes to support smallholder farmers, including improved production and marketing of . sesame, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes and pineapples, and sustainable forest management in the Nou Forest.
Uganda – Programmes support farmers to improve the productivity, storage and marketing of food crops, including sugar beans, peanuts and maize. From 2007 Farm Africa also took on the role of technical advisor to the livelihoods element of The Guardian’s Katine Community Partnership Project in eastern Uganda.
South Sudan – Farm Africa is not currently working in South Sudan due to the on going civil war and deteriorating security situation. We continue to review this situation and hope to return to providing small-scale farmers with the support they need to farm the land effectively, when the security situation makes this feasible.
Funding and fundraising
Farm Africa raises the majority of its funding from institutional donors, including government and international organisations, trusts and foundations, and a range of institutions, who support in-country programmes. Farm Africa, in consortium with Self Help Africa, has a Programme Partnership Agreement (PPA), (initially for three years but extended for a further two years) from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DfiD). A fuller list of funders can be found on the website.
Farm Africa also raises funds from corporate sponsors in the food, farming and hospitality sectors. Farm Africa is the National Union of Farmers international charity. The Food for Good campaign involves the food and hospitality sectors. Between 2011 and 2014, Food for Good sponsors raised over £1 million for Farm Africa, through company partnerships, fundraising challenges and other initiatives. Food for Good now aims to raise £5 million over the coming years. Dine for Good is an annual event whereby customers at participating restaurants pay an extra £1 on their bill to support Farm Africa.
Farm Africa has a base of individual supporters who contribute through regular and ad hoc donations and who participate in fundraising through marathons and other running and cycling events, climbing and trekking challenges and other sponsored events. The most loyal supporters are called Friends of Farm. Give Hunger the Boot is Farm Africa’s regular autumn fundraising campaign, aimed principally at school, churches, institutions and workplaces. In 2015 Farm Africa supporters participated in the annual Live Below the Line global campaign against hunger.
Farm Africa USA
Farm Africa USA, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation and all donations made to it are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Farm Africa based in the UK and Farm Africa USA Inc are independent organisations with similar objectives.
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