Business Management Training for Smallholder Farmers
Since May 2012, Cotton made in Africa has taught smallholder farmers basic knowledge of business as part of the "Farmer Business Schools" aimed at making "management" of their small agricultural business easier. The fundamental aim of the Farmer Business Schools is that farmers can use the business knowledge to increase the productivity of their smallholder farms. They learn how to better assess market and production risks and to manage their budget for the business as well as private household sensibly. The courses also provide some very practical content, such as which foods should be grown to ensure their family receives a healthy and balanced diet.
In economic terms, the smallholder farmers also receive support through pre-financing of agricultural inputs (seeds, pesticides) for which the cotton companies are responsible. In order to make costly investments, the smallholder farmers are also granted microloans. They invest them, for example, in machines that help small businesses operate more efficiently. Farmer Business Schools, also help them understand how to use loans by explaining the advantages and risks they bring as well as the need to build up savings and equity. Read more about it here.