In this edition of Farmer’s Inside Track, Kayalethu Sotsha, senior economist at the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), joins us to focus on smallholder wool producers in South Africa.
He shares some of his findings in a wool baseline report as part of the smallholder market access tracker, a tool developed by the NAMC to measure the progress in the achievement of the market and access goal for smallholder farmers in Mzansi
One of the NAMC objectives is to improve market participation for all farmers, however, because of the nature of the agriculture sector being built for commercialising markets, there is a specific focus from the NAMC on smallholder farmers.
“We established the smallholder market access tracker in 2016 after having observed that a lot has been done in terms of uplifting or developing the smallholder farmers, especially when it comes to market access,” he says.
But what is even more interesting, Sotosha mentions, is that smallholder farmers are often marginalised. “In addition, they incur many losses in terms of stock theft, sickness and predators.”
He adds that the loss is more overwhelming than anyone can imagine for smallholder farmers since they have so little. Losing 12 sheep does not sound like a major loss to the commercial farmer, but it is gigantic to the smallholder.
“Because of their poor record keeping, these losses don’t make it into the farm books or financial books of the farm,” he says.
It all comes down to record-keeping and in the episode, he shares why this is so important in the context of smallholder farmers.
In this episode, Sotsha also discusses:
- How the tracker works;
- Opportunities in how farmers can use the report for day-to-day management;
- Challenges that farmers face.
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
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