An Overview of NASFAM

The National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) is widely viewed as the leading smallholder farmer organization in Malawi and as a model for emerging organizations in the country and the region.

Formed in 1997, and formally registered in February 1998 as an organization to support market access for participating smallholder farmers, NASFAM has evolved into a sophisticated system of services, programmes, enterprises, and associations designed to meet the varied needs of smallholder farmers in Malawi.

The NASFAM system spans both developmental and commercial activities, which complement each other, and which operate across several value chains, including groundnuts, rice, tobacco, soya, pigeon peas, beans, and sunflower.

NASFAM is founded on the principles of collective action and is democratically governed by its members.

All NASFAM’s operations are guided by its vision:

“To be a sustainable agribusiness that delivers value and creates impact”.

with the mission of NASFAM being:

“NASFAM exists to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers by developing their farming business capacity”

How NASFAM is Organised

NASFAM is a farmer-member controlled system. This control starts at Association level. The NASFAM system is organised into a unique extension network to support its membership of around 100,000 smallholder farmers. The smallest operational unit of NASFAM is the Club, made up of 10-15 individual farmers. Clubs combine to form Action Groups that are the key points in the extension network for dissemination of information to members, and for the bulking of member crops. Action Groups combine to form NASFAM's Associations.  Currently, NASFAM has 54 associations.

NASFAM Associations are legally registered entities, member-owned and managed by annually elected farmer Boards. The Associations are grouped by geographical location under 14 Innovation and Productivity Centres (IPCs). These IPCs provide management and operational support to the Associations in terms of production, marketing and community development. The IPCs are in turn supported and managed by the NASFAM Head Office structure.

Membership Services

NASFAM functions are categorised into Commercial and Development activities.

The commercial activities are concentrated within the associations and NASFAM's commercial subsidiary company, NASFAM Commercial (registered as NASCOMEX).  NASFAM Commercial buys and sells farm products from farmer members at competitive price through their local associations (which act as commercial hubs) and supports the marketing and export of value-added products. With value addition being the main focus in SDPIV, NASFAM continues to offer services that enable farmers produce quality crops that can be added value at local and central level for increased income to farmer associations and NASCOMEX.

Development services include comprehensive training support in best agricultural practices using climate smart agricultural principles adapted to climate challenges; programmes on HIV and AIDS, gender equality, food and nutrition security, child labour and association governance.

Services are propagated through direct member contact as well as through radio, publications and ICT approaches, and supported by active engagement in the policy arena.

NASFAM Core Values

To achieve our mission, the following core values drive the organisation’s culture and priorities:

Integrity - Doing the Right Thing Always

Commitment - Dedicated to Cause
Excellence 
- Dedicated to Quality

Team Work - Together Eeryone Achieves More

Collective Action - Strength in Numbers

NASFAM Structure

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