Call for expression of interest: Pride Farms Farm-to-table extension
Pride Farms (est. 2019) is expanding its organic production into both local, regional and international markets. Rather than do this on our own farms, Pride Farms wants to work with farmers to support high quality, commercial organic production and develop sustainable businesses for growth through two distinct levels of support. First, Pride Farms will not only guide the production process but buy back produce from farmers and transparent market rates. Second, we have been building a professional seedling production plant, locally made compost and fertilizer solutions, data driven production methods and have tested and tried countless organic pesticides and want to share our knowledge with farmers. Within this context we will include specific trainings and support on the following:
1) Introduce professional farm management system
Pride Farm’s extension support teams will work with farmers to create an annual farm plan that includes crop rotations, irrigation and trenching activities and harvesting protocols and infrastructure. This will be recorded using a mobile-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to collect key production, harvest and sales performance data to:
* Develop benchmark data for productivity per crop, per season that can support production and market decision-making for farmers.
* Provide farmers with insights into productivity, through an overview of costs and revenues to enable the right investments to increase yields and (certification) standards.
* Create transparency in the value chain and build a system in which fair prices are paid out to farmers and communicated to buyers
2) Transition to organic production
The Farm-to-Table extension model will support the transition to commercial organic farming and help facilitate fair trade and organic certification through specific trainings and demonstrations in:
* Soil Regenerative Regiment (SRR): using good agricultural practices and inputs to rebuild soil quality ;
* Organic Integrated Pest Management (PMI) strategy: techniques that proactively combat known pests rather than reactively treat them with sometimes dangerous and harmful chemicals;
* Standard operating procedures (SOPs) for organic crop production: building on the knowledge that Pride Farms has acquired over the last three years in techniques, varieties and processes;
3) Provide data-driven business model support
Using a data-driven approach backed up with field data (such as average yields per crop across farms) and market data (average pricing per crop across channels), Pride Farms will support farms in maximizing revenues and establish financial and non-financial targets. This will support more goal driven processes, create multi-year planning for both revenues and investments and support other risk mitigation matters such as insurance and commercial loans.
Pride Farms is seeking to support a maximum of 5 farms that meet the following criteria:
A total land size no smaller than 3 hectares, but no larger than 20 hectares and be based in Rwamagana district. This does not have to be one continuous piece but can be different plots in proximity (less than 5km from each other). Cooperatives are also encouraged to apply if they meet these conditions.
Ability to prove commercial agricultural activities by showing any records of at least two seasons of production in the last 3 years. Virgin land cannot be counted towards total land size.
Records of previous or current employment of field laborers, agronomists, or other professional agricultural workers
Light agricultural infrastructure such as access roads, harvesting/sorting sheds and storage or warehousing ability on farm.
Description of the current irrigation activities and potential possibilities on farm, including either nearby water sources or existing irrigation infrastructure (e.g. pumps, reservoirs, or flood irrigation channels)
Applicants must also provide the following motivation and acknowledgements:
A written motivation for being considered for this project, including specific language on the following:
Importance of training and upskilling workers to reach commercial farming standards
Basic understanding of organic and regenerative agricultural practices
Acknowledge that 0.25 hectares will be used as a demo plot for training purposed
Proof of funds to support one season of seed or seedling purchases, inputs and employees. Pride Farms has standardized this amount to equal at least 1.5M Rwandan Francs per hectare.
Any documentation from the local authorities that support the applicants’ agricultural activities