NASFAM, through its five-year Strategic Development Plan (SDP) III, challenged itself to turn its associations into self sustaining business entities. That dream is fast being materialised.
“Under the first two strategic plans, major emphasis was placed on putting an institutional framework in place that would support delivery of services to NASFAM associations and their member smallholder farmers – all within the context of farmer-driven operations. At the heart of NASFAM was belief that smallholder farmers could and would contribute to improving their own livelihoods if the means to do so were available,” reads part of the Strategic Development Plan III.
“To make these means available, NASFAM associations were organised as vehicles through which member farmers could achieve economies of scale and access to resources by banding together. Components of the NASFAM structure were designed to enable the system to interact with both private business initiative and donor interests and requirements. Particular attention was paid to NASFAM financial and accounting systems and NASFAM earned a reputation as a reliable development partner. By the end of the second strategic plan period, NASFAM was referred to by one major donor as a ‘strong and organised producer association...,’” reads another portion in the same SDP III document.
This is what had set the footing for the initiative and it gave NASFAM confidence to embark on the ambitious journey of developing associations into independent profitable business entities.