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Agricultural Issues in Transition From Relief to Development. Presented at the Association For International Agriculture And Rural Development 40 th Annual Meeting Washington DC, June 6-7, 2004. Ben Hoskins ([email protected]) Claude Nankam, PhD ([email protected])

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Agricultural Issues in Transition From Relief to Development

Presented at the

Association For International Agriculture And Rural Development 40th Annual Meeting

Washington DC, June 6-7, 2004

Ben Hoskins ([email protected])

Claude Nankam, PhD ([email protected])

World Vision, Inc (


Introduction – World Vision (WV)

  • Agricultural relief interventions
  • Transitioning from Relief to Development
  • Lessons Learned

1950: Charity for children in Korea

  • Largest relief and development NGO in the world with $1 billion in public and private funds
  • Christian organization with 15 support offices and 65 national offices
      • 25 in Africa
      • 15 in Asia and The Pacific
      • 11 in Europe and The Middle East
      • 14 in The Americas and The Caribbean

Presence in West Africa

    • Chad (civil war and drought)
    • Ghana
    • Liberia (civil war)
    • Mali (drought)
    • Mauritania (drought)
    • Niger (drought)
    • Senegal
    • Sierra Leone (civil war)

-Community Mobilization - Capacity Building -Empowering women and girl children - Peace-Building - Gender -Reconciliation - Advocacy

-Food Security -Education -Environment -Shelter




Christian Witness -Deeds -Fellowship


Precondition for WV Agricultural Intervention

  • Crisis affects significant number of population
  • Financial resources and consideration for long-term presence drive decision to intervene
  • Reasonable level of security
  • Population sedentary and water available

Strategies in WV agricultural relief interventions

  • Work with donor and the country’s MOA
  • Intervene as quickly as possible
  • Incorporate development principles to the extent possible
  • Collaborate with existing institutions on the ground (other NGOs, UN, NARs, IARCs, etc)

Types of Agricultural


  • Seeds and Tools
    • Non availability of seeds
      • Conventional seed distribution
      • Farmers’ selected varieties
    • Lack of access to seeds
      • Seed vouchers and fairs

Types of Agricultural Interventions

In relief context

  • Agriculture Package (AgPack)
  • Tools: 2 hoes, 2cutlass and a file
  • Seeds: Seeds of “adapted” varieties of staple crops purchased locally or from seed companies outside the country
  • Seedlings of fruit trees

Types of Agricultural Interventions

In relief context

  • Vegetable Package (VegPack)
  • Tools: Watering can
  • Seeds of “adapted” varieties of vegetable crops such as tomato, pumpkins, kale, onions, okra, cabbage, etc.
  • Note: Limited to no indigenous vegetable crops

Types of Agricultural Interventions

In relief context

  • Farming practices
  • Establishment of vegetable nurseries
  • Homestead gardening
  • Land preparation
  • Seeding rates and planting techniques

Farmers’ selected varieties

  • Access improved varieties from IARCs (IITA, WARDA, ICRISAT, CIMMYT, CIAT, etc.)
  • Establish on-farm trials: Farmers testing improved varieties under their farming conditions, against their local varieties
  • Selection criteria: amount of harvest, cooking time, palatability

Transitioning from Relief to Development

Agriculture Recovery Program (ARP)

  • Seed Security
    • Rehabilitation of farmers seed stocks
      • Activities of FSVs are foundational
    • Development/strengthening of informal seed systems (Small Scale Seed Production Systems)
  • Improved Farming Systems

Transitioning from Relief to Development

Agriculture Recovery Program (ARP)

  • Improved Farming Systems
  • Four Pillars:
  • Production and productivity
  • Storage and processing
  • Agriculture Marketing
  • Natural resources management

Improved Farming Systems

  • Productivity & Production
  • Soil Fertility:
  • Organic Fertilizers
  • Green Manures
  • Improved Fallow
    • Fuddu, Senegal
    • Zambia

Improved Varieties:

  • Varieties tolerant to stress pest and diseases (drought, low N, MSV, Stem borer, and Striga)
  • Improved nutritional value – HarvestPlus varieties
  • QPM (Obatamba)
  • Orange flesh sweet potato
  • Yellow cassava

Yellow QPM



Improved techniques:

  • “True” potato seed
  • Rapid multiplication techniques of sweet potato and cassava
  • Madagascar SRI (System of Rice Intensification)
  • Indigenous Crops: ICRAF work on some 50 wild fruit trees species; e.g. Ziziphus mauritiana
  • Moringa oleifera for its nutritional value and its use as coagulant for the purification of water
  • IPALAC work with dry land trees such as date palm, acacia spp., etc. for improved food security


  • Granaries
  • Storage of fresh fruits and vegetables

Granary in Northern Ghana


Farm Tools:

  • Hand Planters
  • Ox Plow
  • Treadle pump
  • Drip irrigation
  • Etc.


Cleaning and packaging of vegetables for export at the Usuthu farm in Swaziland

Oil press used for the extraction of oil from oil seeds such as sunflower and sesame

  • Cassava processing technologies – IITA/CIAT, Rosafric
  • Sweet potato processing technologies – CIP
  • Solar dryers for fruits and vegetables
natural resources management
Natural Resources Management
  • -Erosion control on hillsides and slopes
      • -Watershed management
      • -Soil and water conservation (cover crops)
      • -Tree planting (fruit trees)

Lessons Learned

  • Positive aspects
  • Emergency situations break down institutional barriers to agricultural technology transfer. However if technology is not appropriate, it will be quickly rejected by farmers.
  • An integrated approach to emergency response, with a developmental vision from day one and transition to more sustainable activities as quickly as the operating environment allows, is an effective strategy to restore food security rapidly.

Lessons Learned

Positive aspects (cont’d)

  • A participatory approach, with farmers heavily involved in the process from the beginning, helps ensure high rates of adoption of new technology, program efficiency and a transition to longer-term development.
  • Organizing farmers in groups/associations speeds up the dissemination of new technologies
  • Agriculture is farmers economic activity and it is important that their production decisions are made based on market opportunities

Lessons Learned

Positive aspects (cont’d)

  • Partnership among different organizations, each playing the role to which it is best suited, adds value: the host country government provides for overall coordination, IARCs/NARs provide candidate varieties, seed companies provide seed and packaging services, farmers screen varieties and provide feedback on which are best, NGOs facilitate the process.
  • Successful revitalization of the rural economy not only reduces rural exodus, but can even lead to immigration from urban areas (e.g. Fuddu ADP, in Senegal)

Lessons Learned

  • Issues and constraints
  • Adequacy of public funding to support transition from relief to development
  • Limited funding for agriculture:
    • Less funding allocated to agriculture programs and R&D – reduced USAID presence in West Africa and Millennium Challenge Program not emphasizing agriculture

Issues and constraints (cont’d)

  • Poverty is the underpinning cause of food insecurity, which in turn results in hunger. The situation would be improved tremendously if avenues to make business development services (BDS) and micro-finance accessible to small holder farmers were identified.
  • Anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) can reach only a very minute portion of the rural population in need of HIV/AIDS treatment. Yet there is limited research being done on alternative treatment, mostly on indigenous plants such as the African potato (Hypoxis hemerocalidea) known to prolong tremendously the lives of HIV positive patients, by boost their immune systems

World Vision