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Re: Innovative financing for agriculture, food security and nutrition

AGNES LUO LAIMA ZANAMACA, Zambia
07.07.2012
AGNES

SUBJECT: FACTORS AFFECTING FOOD SECURITY
-    The Public Sector
-    Private Sector
-    Producer Originations
-    Philanthropic Organizations
These are some of the investment that influence agriculture. 

The public sector is one component which adds to the adverse effects of food security they come as business people with money to buy agricultural produces from framers at a much reduced price. Since farmers are desperate for money, may end up selling their produces at low cost prices. With this trend the farmers may not be able to realize maximized profit from their labour. The other component is government delay to purchase agricultural produce on time, which forces farmers to sell their crops to scrupulous business men.
In partnership with the private sector, farmers will grow crops which will largely benefit those who buy from them. The lending schemes will also share the cost investment. Not only that, the farmer may also pay back with interest charged at higher rate. The producer organizations have got many challenges they may formulate cooperatives which help farmers to get farming inputs and there are faced with a problem of transportation of inputs to the farmer’s depot. When selling these merchandise, the traders will not over look the incurred cost such as transport costs. The merchandise is in form of fertilizers, seeds, chemicals and machinery or agricultural equipment. 
Philanthropic organizations have policies that affect farmers by their lending policies. Farmers get loans but the cost of paying back is not calculated in accordance with the farmers input costs, as a result farmers end up paying back more to their lending institutions.
In the Sub-Saharan countries which include Central Africa, West Africa and Southern Africa and developing countries are equally facing similar challenges as stated above.
High cost of fertilizer, chemicals and seeds are also challenges affecting the farming industry, as a result they can not compete in the agriculture industry adequately or engage in meaningful agriculture unless there are incorporated in small scale farmer’s empowerment schemes. The growth of the small scale farmers has to start by first providing necessary incentives to kick start their development.
To producer organization, there is also this aspect of monopoly especially to producers of chemicals like fertilizers, animal feed, and agro-equipment. If there can be diversification of in the manufacturing of fertilizer and other agro-farming input, it will mean that the farming inputs will be in abundance hence the cost of farm input will be at a reasonable cost where farmers will be able to access it at affordable price. 

Private sector

Private sector looks at a former’s needs in the following areas:
Transport aids from farms to selling points 
Access to acquiring of big machinery like tractors which is only accessible by commercial farmers
This is disadvantaging small scale farmers because the rate of production will be limited to the equipment they are limited to us.
If a tractor can be given a corporate group of small scale farmers who are in a group of ten to fifteen members and to such a group should be loaned with one tractor per group.

- These groups will be headed by a cooperative coordinator who has to manage the equipment in providing services to these farmers.
- The coordinator has to strictly monitor each individual farmer. He also has to maintain servicing of the equipment.
- Educate farmers in looking after their crops and animals
- Also provide vaccination programs for livestock animals
- Constant monitoring of diseases control of animals
- Provide clean water and sanitation
- Train farmers in modern agricultural methods
- Provide transport facility to rural based farmers
- Improve road networks to make transportation easy by building small bridge
- Provide energy in form of solar generator and solar panel

Farmers who are located in remote areas have 70% percent of their crops go to waste because of luck of quick processing plants. To this effect, there is need to extend energy direct to farmers so that they can easily process food produce into finished processed foodstuffs. This will reduce waste of crops and transport cost to farmers.   
Mostly farmers face problem such as disease outbreak which the agricultural officer may not be able to cater for all the livestock farmers in providing control measures to their animals, as a result, animals die in masses. Therefore the private sector should come on board such as NGOs to supplement short full of disease control and other facilities needed for farmers.
 Governments of African countries are ready to work with private partnerships to alleviate poverty and increase food productivity by ensuring that farmers are able too access information and agricultural facilities.
These factors if provided to the farmers, food security will be improved at a greater percentages, also the living standard of farmers will greatly improve which is an objective realized.

Agnes Luo Laima
Treasurer
Zambia National Marketers Credit Association (ZANAMACA)
Lusaka – Zambia