388-5 Facts, Fallacy and the Future of ‘Good Agricultural Practice's. Lesson from Ifad's Sub-Saharan Africa Programmes.

See more from this Division: Special Sessions
See more from this Session: Symposium--Transforming Smallholder Agronomy in Africa

Wednesday, November 9, 2016: 9:35 AM
Phoenix Convention Center North, Room 226 C

Stephen J. Twomlow, Environment and Climate Division, United Nations, Rome, ITALY, Robert Delve, Policy and Technical Advisory, International Fund for Agricultural Development, Rome, Italy and William Critchley, Sustainable Land Management Associates Ltd, Scotland, United Kingdom
At the International Fund for Agriculture (IFAD) we regularly see in design documents: ‘Good agricultural practices (GAPs) will be promoted as part of the projects approach to increase crop productivity' and wonder exactly what is meant, as few details follow on the What; Where; When; Who and How?

IFAD recognises that GAPs make an important contribution to its strategic focus on poor rural people, their livelihoods and food security through increased crop production and improved systems resilience. Yet, an underlying question remains:  why have GAPs, particularly CA, had little impact in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) despite considerable investment over the last 20 years?

Experiences are mixed, and even where success is reported, it is more commonly “promise and potential” from pilot initiatives, than evidence of large scale uptake.  There are multiple reasons for poor adoption, and no simple quick solutions.

IFAD has developed guidelines to better inform its programme design teams in the promotion of GAPs, including CA in attempt to achieve long term sustainable impacts. 

For CA to be adopted the focus must move beyond its three principles and include the introduction of key supplementary practices, and an enabling environment - as for all GAPs. These ensure that farmers’ constraints are addressed and that there is institutional support at all levels of the public and private sectors.  From a review of our portfolio in SSA, we have identified four considerations to underpin good design of GAPs.

  • Developing an incremental investment plan that addresses trade-offs of mulch use in crop-livestock systems, weed management, soil fertility improvement, mechanisation to support uptake, and post-harvest handling

  • Reducing overall labour demands, especially the  women's labour burden

  • Supporting smallholders to make these investments via rural finance and  insurance products

  • Designing required market support for access to inputs mechanisation and post-harvest technologies

See more from this Division: Special Sessions
See more from this Session: Symposium--Transforming Smallholder Agronomy in Africa