Worldwide Agricultural Development

 Développement Agricole à Travers le Monde - Desarrollo Agropecuario a través del Mundo


Smallholder Production

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Construction of village mill for palm oil production in West Africa

Smallholder Production and Rural Development

Supporting smallholder production in outgrower schemes

HVA International has developed and supported smallholder production since the 1970s and 1980s when it established and managed outgrower production schemes as part of integrated agro-industrial sugar, tea and oil palm projects in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Brazil. Typically, organisations were set up within these projects to collect the primary product from outgrowers and to provide agricultural services such as extension, credit for inputs and mechanisation. Up to date, technical assistance to smallholder production of commodity crops, other crops and livestock products has continued to be an important activity of HVA International in the framework of integrated agro-industrial projects. Examples of typical projects are presented below.

bullet Improving the milk collection schemes at Lembang and Mojosongo in Indonesia (2002 - 2008, financed by Senter Agency of the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and PT Frisian Flag Indonesia)
Improving the milk collection and chilling facilities at the cooperatives and training the farmers and employees in the clean milk production and handling. At both cooperatives Extension Workers were trained and a milk payment system based on both chemical and bacteriological quality were introduced. At the end of both projects the smallholder dairy farmers received a substantial better milk price because of the better quality.
bullet Strengthening the Dairy Sector in Georgia (1999 - 2004, financed by Senter, Agency of the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs).
Introduction of modern dairy farming and processing technology, through development of an integrated co-operative dairy farm/milk processing unit, and establishment of a training/extension centre to support the development of small scale market-oriented dairy farming in the region. The milk processing plant will process milk produced by the co-operative farm and collected from smallholders.

Mambilla tea integrated development program, Nigeria (1993-1998, financed by EU)
Technical assistance for an integrated tea project, including rehabilitation/expansion of a tea estate, tea factory and outgrower scheme. Assistance to smallholder tea farmers in the area include providing planting material, land development and extension.


Tea rehabilitation, Uganda (studies and implementation between 1985-1990, financed by WB and EU)
Nation wide survey for the rehabilitation of the outgrowers tea sector (EU) and subsequently conducting a study for the rehabilitation of the entire tea sector, including, estates, outgrowers, rural infrastructure and marketing (WB). As a follow up of these studies HVA International participated in the implementation of the rehabilitation.


Cukra Hill/El Castillo palm oil projects, Nicaragua (1983-1992, financed by EU)
Implementation of two integrated oil palm projects (nucleus estates with smallholder outgrower schemes). Assistance to smallholders included setting up an extension system and construction of housing.


Mtibwa and Kilombero sugar estates, Tanzania (1975-1991, financed by DGIS)
Technical assistance to two major integrated sugar estates in (Mtibwa and Kilombero) with associated outgrower schemes. Within the framework of the technical assistance, agricultural services for smallholder outgrowers were established, including extension, credit, supply of healthy planting material, mechanisation and harvesting services, and collection and transport of cane.


Asutsuare and Komenda sugar estates, Ghana (1973-1978, financed by World Bank)
Technical assistance to Atsutsuare and Komenda integrated sugar estates. On both estates about 300 outgrowers were growing sugar cane on an area of some 4,000 ha. HVA assisted these farmers (0.5 to 50 ha) with the rehabilitation of their farms to increase sugar cane production. Credit facilities for inputs and assistance for mecanised operations were granted to farmers.

Projects focussed on promoting private market-oriented small-medium scale farming

HVA International also implements projects that are primarily focussed on developing market oriented smallholder and medium scale farming. A successful approach in this respect has proved to be the establishment of full-service produce collection centres, combining collection and quality control with providing agricultural services. In countries with under-developed agricultural production chains, such full-service collection centres provide the, often missing, link between farmers and processors or markets, giving farmers the incentive to increase production and improve quality. Examples of such projects are highlighted below.


Dairy development project, Vietnam (1995 - 2007, privately financed)
Development of smallholder dairy farming to meet the demand of a new dairy plant through establishment of a full-service milk collection scheme, that supports farmers with training, extension artificial insemination services and access to credit.


Oil palm production co-operatives, Benin (1992-1993, 1996-1997, financed by World Bank)
Further to an agricultural and socio-economic evaluation of options to privatise smallholder oil palm co-operatives (1992-1993), technical assistance was provided to the co-operatives to take over the exploitation of palm oil plantations. Assistance included preparation and implementation of a detailed replanting and extension programme, training of technical staff and implementation of organisational changes.


Development La Meseta Region (1989-1997, financed by EU)
Diversification and intensification of agricultural and horticultural production, including setting up farm produce collection centres and agro-processing units. Smallholder producer organisations, established around the collection centres, developed into marketing co-operatives that successfully started exporting fresh produce to EU and US markets.


Mini palm oil mills, Mano River Union (1991-1993, financed by African Development Bank)
Design, construction and installation of 10 mini palm oil mills (100-150kg/h), using locally available materials and construction facilities, including training of villagers in operating the mills and assisting them in organising the mill operations and with marketing of the final product.


Agricultural Development Project Moyeamba, Sierra Leone (1978-1981, financed by DGIS).
The project started with a feasibility study for 800 ha upland farming for the cultivation of dark fire-cured tobacco in rotation with maize and vegetables. Based on this study demonstration farms were established. Technical assistance further included establishment of agricultural extension services, organisation of field research, selection and multiplication of seeds, nutrient requirements for crops, supply of agricultural input and equipment, construction of workshops, financial control and marketing.

Integrated rural development projects

Building on its long standing experience in land development and in establishing rural infrastructure and irrigation systems, HVA International has carried several integrated rural development projects, including:


Bazega natural resource management, Burkina Faso (ongoing since 1997, financed by African Development Bank)
Implementation of rural development project focussed on soil conservation (erosion control), land development of flats (bas-fonds), soil improvement (improvement of utilisation of animal manure), supporting social forestry and establishment of rural and social infrastructure.


Gash Delta project, Sudan (1987-1995, financed by DGIS)
Technical assistance for developing practical solutions to control and monitor irrigation at field level, supporting on-farm agronomic research and extension and for introducing social forestry and sustainable natural forest management practices.


Yala swamp integrated development study, Kenya (1980-1982, financed by DGIS)
Land development study for reclamation of the Yala swamp and surrounding uplands, including an gravity irrigation scheme for smallholder farmers.

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For More Information Contact:

HVA International
Paalbergweg 30, 1105 BV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
P.O. Box 12204, 1100 AE Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tel: +31 20 7372164


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Last modified: June 25, 2012