Private Multi-Function Anchor Farms

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Private Multi-Function Anchor Farms

Swaziland
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The issue of nutrition is the issue successful farming and gardening. Our solution enhances family nutrition by improving the productivity and quality of farms and gardens.

The Anchor Farm brings the services of nurseries, demonstration gardens, agriculture organizations, middlemen, and agricultural extension officers all together into one multi-function private farm.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In the area that we work in, the problem is not that people don't know about healthy food. The problem is the resource constraints for growing and accessing those foods. For our area, solutions are available. The problem is execution and delivery. Traditional out-reach strategies typically provide a pre-set solution through intrusive workshops. These workshops may be not specifically tuned to the community, may not develop a permanent relationship, and may not address multiple variables of successful farming and gardening. Respectively, the negative results can be hit-or-miss solutions, poor adoption and communication, and incomplete service (ex. seeds and training, but no support in marketing). Furthermore, the typical purely non-profit workshops need constant donor support. Once the funding runs dry, the engagement with the communities come to an end. It cannot self-sustain and cannot self-replicate. The entire homestead food security outreach strategy is tedious, constrained, and stagnant. We need a flexible, robust, and decentralized hybrid for-profit/non-profit model that naturally and permanently integrates into the communities.
About You
Organization:
Impala Development Services
Visit website
Section 1: About You
First Name

Edward

Last Name

Lin

Organization

Impala Development Services

Country
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Impala Development Services

Organization Phone

352.871.7024

Organization Address

FL

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

Our model is different from most traditional strategies primarily in 1. it is permanently integrated within the community, 2. it is privately owned, 3. it has invisible ties to external stakeholders, and 4. is highly specific for each community. We feel that these four points overcome important deficiencies in traditional strategies.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had?

Our current nutrition program features moringa oleifera and stenopatela as homestead gardening option. With this program, we have already reached more than 10 communities throughout Swaziland and have integrated moringa with multiple non-governmental organizations as well as government agencies.

The Anchor Farm pilot is being launched over the next few months.

Actions

In the next 2 months, we are focused on the following two tasks:

1. We are fundraising for an initial 1000USD of capital to pay for the fencing, the nursery, seeds, irrigation piping, fertilizers, and other investments.

2. The host farmer is receiving additional training in maintaining a successful nursery through a short internship at the established nursery of a partner organization.

Over the next 6 months, we are:

1. Growing moringa as the first demonstration crop.

2. Establishing the nursery to provide farmers with year round vegetable seedlings.

3. Developing relationships with produce retailers in town.

Over the next 12 months, we are:

1. Putting into trial new under-utilized crops.

2. Constructing appropriate technologies for agricultural activities.

3. Processing and packaging moringa for retail in shops.

Results

1. Once the 1000USD has been raised, it will take no more than one month to establish the farm. The demonstration portion will grow conventional vegetables as well as underutilized indigenous crops. Fertilizers and other inputs will be purchased for resale at smaller portions.

2. If successful, news of this farm and its services will spread through the community and arouse interest. At that time, we will begin offering assistance to the community in the form of informal and formal training.

3. Greater farm productivity and quality will ensure good nutrition for the families. Assistance with produce sales will generate more income for further food purchase, healthcare, and other necessities.

4. This is essentially a facilitated positive deviance outreach that will be replicated in other communities if successful. Capital funding can come from one the pilot farm's revenues as well as donations.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Year 1:
a. Capital funding for the initial establishment and a small emergency fund (total <2000USD).
b. Develop greater understanding of produce market trends. Knowing what sells when will advise the Anchor Farm and the community on crop choices.
c. Continued training in sustainable agriculture and gardening.
d. Work out management and operations kinks.
e. Base-line nutrition and income assessment.
f. Build productive relationship with the community as a service business.

Year 2:
a. Hiring one staff member to guide replication and expansion.
b. Evaluation against base-line data to study impact.
c. Funding for replication in second community (<2000USD).
d. Install teaching component for the new Anchor Farm hosts.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The most critical element in the success of each Anchor Farm is the hosting homestead. They must be entrepreneurial, trustworthy, and problem-solvers. They must also be respected within the community. Selection of the right hosting homestead would greatly enhance the impact of the Anchor Farm. Failure of the host to take the initiative would ruin the venture.

The growth of the farm require the support of experts in appropriate technologies and agriculture. Their help is necessary when the problems arise that is beyond the skill the of the farmer. Their help is also important in suggesting new technologies, crops, and methods to be tested.

Finally, the farm must be able to market its produce to sustain itself. The plan is to pick crops with assistance from organizations like TechnoServe and government agricultural marketing agencies. If the farm itself cannot make a profit, then it is unlikely that it can lead the community in doing so.

How many people will your project serve annually?

101‐1000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$50 - 100

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

Impala Development Services

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Our projects are designed with scaling and replication in mind, specifically by larger organizations with greater reach and financial backing. As such, partnerships with NGOs, businesses, and the government form one of the cores of our business.

The Anchor Farm can be replicated in whole or in part by our partners to help them reach their goals. For example, the model can be replicated for the government's agricultural extension officers as a more in-depth service. Or the produce marketing component can be replicated by orphanages that already have a gardening program. The Anchor Farm's crop trials can inform other agricultural organizations on growing options.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

Growing the Anchor Farm would include growing the pilot farm as well as replicating it.

To grow the anchor farm, we would need to first establish the nursery and produce sales to ensure self-sufficiency. Only once the Anchor Farm is financially self-sufficient and stable, can it expand its services to the community. Second, we would need develop a productive relationship with the community. Beyond the profitability as a business, the Anchor Farm must also help the community produce more and generate more income.

The farm can be replicated by IDS through the generated revenue. We would invite partners (NGOs, for-profit businesses, and government) to visit the Anchor Farm. We would provide assistance with replicating in whole or in part. Whether it is replicated internally or externally, the most important step is to find a trustworthy, respected, knowledgeable, and entrepreneurial farmer.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

From working with moringa, I was meeting many organizations in food security and agriculture. I simply looked at what was working, what wasn't, and why. NGOs are viewed as outsiders and as a free lunch; they don't belong beyond what they're giving out. There is no real dialogue. Changing subsistence farming is difficult because there is little buffer for error. Developing or building on the trust between the farmer and the agent of change would greatly improve adoption. These observations and others led me to believe that an Anchor Farm as I have outlined may be effective in leading communities into greater agricultural output, improved health, and improved nutrition.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

I have a B.Sc. in Microbiology & Cell Science from the University of Florida and a M.Sc. in Molecular Medicine from the University of South Florida. Our volunteer team has been operating since 2006 and works strictly in Swaziland. We believe that social entrepreneurship is the most powerful way to improve the lives and livelihoods the rural farmers in Swaziland. We focus on piloting high potential projects that is scalable and replicable by other organizations.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

College or university

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

University of Florida, Dr. Kristin Joos, Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation