Organisational Structures for SMAllholder REsilience

OSMARE aims to understand how business models that integrate CSA interventions influence smallholder resilience in South-East Africa.

Why is this project necessary?

Agri-food systems in Southern and Eastern Africa are undergoing rapid transformation driven by climatic changes, urbanization and changing consumer preference, which are often accompanied by socio-economic turbulence. As relatively weak actors in agri-food systems, smallholder farmers and their farmer organizations struggle to develop resilience.  

What will OSMARE do?

OSMARE aims to understand and inform how the organizational structures of thirteen selected business models in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania stimulate smallholder resilience to market, social and environmental shocks through Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA)-related incentives. Smallholder resilience represents a crucial ability for farmers to adapt to unexpected systemic shocks inherent to agri-food systems. Agribusiness managers and development actors, as well as farmers themselves, can use these organizational structures as levers to enhance smallholdern resilience, thus fostering competitiveness, inclusiveness, and mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Based on the findings from two complementary studies involving 2,600 farmers in three years, results will be disseminated and discussed with local farmer organizations and their stakeholders, including agribusiness managers and development actors, to draw actionable implications for scaling up and scaling out innovative and best-fit business models to support the transformation to climate-smart agriculture. Throughout the research process, we will integrate a gender and youth perspective as the empowerment of these two marginalised actors is important for the resilience of agri-food value chains.

Other activities in OSMARE

At the same time, OSMARE will organise and improve capacity building activities. Stakeholder workshops are organised throughout the project, which will involve the “network of networks” around consortium partners. These networks include farmer organizations, service providers, NGOs, value chain partners and policy-makers around the 13 business models. The workshops are co-designed with farmer organizations to ensure that smallholders could participate in, learn from and influence the interaction with stakeholders. These workshops as well as the suggestions for improved CSA trainings will be focused smallholders in general and empowering women and youth in agri-food chains in particular.

The countries concerned