NASFAM, has since its inception recognised that the role of partnerships and collaborations in development efforts is critical for attainment of organisational goals and the ultimate vision of transforming lives of smallholder farmers. In SDP III, NASFAM will nurture existing partnerships and cultivate new ones in relation to the outlined focus areas. From SDP I & II, NASFAM has profiled a wide range of development initiatives that are in tandem with its vision and goals and as such NASFAM maintains an open dialogue with all organisations and activities involved in smallholder farmer and rural development – both public and private sector. On the collaborating path, NASFAM has been careful to ensure that it remains focused, first and foremost, on putting its core business activities into place. NASFAM’s development partnerships and strategic alliances have been built slowly and purposefully and, as NASFAM has grown in its ability to bring resources to the table, it has crafted partnerships and alliances that work for all parties involved. SDP III will see NASFAM collaborating with the following range of partners:
- Government and quasi-government institutions: policy and regulation rests on the shoulders of government and as such NASFAM works in close collaboration with the Ministries of Agriculture and Food Security, Finance, Labour and Gender to ensure that various policies and procedures are developed and implemented for the benefit of smallholder farmers in areas of agriculture policy, agricultural budgetary allocation, child labour integration and gender mainstreaming and women empowerment. The Parliamentary Committee of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Parliamentary Committee on Finance and Budget provide a critical interface with NASFAM in ensuring that national policies and programmes benefit the rural farmers. NASFAM will continue to dialogue with these committees on such issues as farm input subsidy, ADMARC operations and taxation on agriculture equipment.
NASFAM will also participate actively in Public-Private platforms like the Private- Public Dialogue and the national trade Working Group which act as knowledge sharing avenues as well as developing alternatives.
- Research and extension delivery institutions: NASFAM will continue to partner with research institutions such as ICRISAT, ICRAF and DARS to develop suitable varieties of select crops that are suitable for the current and changing climatic patterns. NASFAM will provide its member associations with a deeper level of technical assistance by tapping and using resources available through ARET, ICRISAT, Bunda College and other specialty organisations including Department on agriculture extension services. By linking with these research institutions, NASFAM will act as a conduit through which results from research on new technologies, crop varieties, farming methods and other such can go to the smallholder farmers.
Climate change focussed institutions: SDP III has taken on board a new focus area- climate adapted agriculture- and as such NASFAM will nurture partnerships like those with Total Land Care who have vast experience in implementing climate change adaptation strategies. In addition, NASFAM’s participation in the National Conservation Agriculture Task Force will assist to link it with a wide range of organisations implementing different initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change.
- Civil Society Networks and NGOs: building a critical mass and allying with likeminded institutions will bring successes to NASFAM’s advocacy agenda. Towards this end, NASFAM will continue to be a member of the Civil Society Agriculture Network which draws key CSOs that lobby and advocate for effective policies and participates actively in the development of national programmes such as ASWAp. In addition, NASFAM is a member of and will continue participating in the Malawi Lake Basin Consortium which focuses on building the capacity of farmer associations in business management and marketing which extends to potential NASFAM expansion areas like Salima.
Beyond the national front, NASFAM is a member of regional and international networks like SACAU, FANRPAN, which influence the regional policy direction like development of SADC Regional Agriculture Policy and influencing international climate talks during Conference of Parties on Climate change.
- Private Sector: recognising the various actors that exist in the agriculture value chain, NASFAM has taken an approach that intends to build relationships with all actors on both ends of the chain. Afrinut, Ex-agris and Valid Nutrition are institutions that NASFAM will partner with for smallholder market linkages and product value addition. Provision of financial services is still a priority areas in NASFAM as it links to access to production inputs- as such NASFAM has close working relationship with Micro Finance institutions such as MUSCOO and will continue to learn from effective credit linkages to smallholder farmers to new partners like CUMO.