Abalimi Phambili Farmer Support Programme - Agri SAAgri SA

Abalimi Phambili Farmer Support Programme

Benefitting small-scale farmers in South Africa’s rural areas.

Why was it started?

In order to meaningfully integrate smallholders into the agri-business industry.

How was it done?

Since 2002, Lima has implemented the APP, a comprehensive farmer support programme targeting rural smallholders across four provinces and 16 field sites. The programme deploys teams of technically-qualified agricultural facilitators, extension assistants and master farmers; these locally-based teams service an average of 800 farmers per district through hands-on provision of technical training and facilitated access to markets. Field staff are supported by regional agricultural managers, whose knowledge is augmented by a complement of in-house specialists, including horticulturists, agricultural economists, engineers, and skilled community development practitioners.
Within the APP, technically-supported farming activities include: dry land cropping, irrigated cropping, small livestock production, poultry (broilers and table eggs) production, piggeries and deciduous fruit production. A programmatic focus on market linkages has created durable relationships with suppliers of high-value, high-tech inputs, such as hybrid vegetable seedlings, day-old chicks and certified potato seed. Donor funds are also used to provide farmers with access to finance, typically in the form of micro-loans. With a modest line of interest-free credit linked to their production cycle, farmers receive inputs and invest in on-farm infrastructure, both of which enable them to expand production and improve incomes.

How was it funded?

Over the course of its 10+ year history, the Abalimi Phambili Programme (APP) has been implemented in partnership with Teba Development and through funding from the Chamber of Mines, Goldfields, Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, Anglo Platinum, Northam Platinum, DBSA Jobs Fund, Massmart, South Coast Development Agency and WesBank.

Social and Economic Implications

At the end of the last programme cycle in late 2015, over 10 200 permanent agricultural jobs and 2 377 seasonal agricultural jobs were created through the APP. More than 9 700 farmers received free training during the last funding period. As a whole, these farmers produce a turnover of more than R120 million annually from their farming livelihoods.