With most of the world’s uncultivated arable land found in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is opportunity for agricultural expansion. Agricultural growth must include the transition from subsistence to commercial farming. Agricultural growth that includes small commercial farmers’ boosts food availability and incomes, and thus generates demand for locally produced goods and services, resulting in broad-based socio-economic development in rural communities.
JAM is expanding a range of agricultural development activities alongside our existing programmes. Our agricultural programmes are critical to helping rural communities to feed themselves and lift themselves out of poverty.
JAM’s agricultural targets are encapsulated in our FEED Cycle (Farm, Empower, Enhance and Distribute) developed through more than 30 years of targeted agricultural and nutritional development. We have defined a model for sustainability through commercial farmer development, which encompasses training, transport and logistical support, factory production and nutritional feeding.
Farm: A combination of larger scale JAM operated farms, small commercial farmers and small-scale school gardens. The current model includes centre pivot irrigation to increase yield. Produce from the JAM farm is supplied directly to a JAM production facility.
Empower: JAM builds the production capacity of both associated and individual small commercial farmers. On-going training and technical support aimed at increasing yields of maize and soya beans is provided. Small commercial farms under centre pivot irrigation. JAM assists farmers with equipment to clear land or dig canals and also provides seeds and fertilizer for farmers at affordable prices. Produce from the small commercial farmers is sold at market value. All commodities required for our factory production are grown locally.
Enhance: Raw maize and soya beans are processed at a JAM operated production facility. A process involving cleaning, milling, dry extrusion, and fortification with vitamins and minerals produces a super cereal known as Corn Soya Blend (CSB). This process adheres to stringent international quality assurance practices.
Distribute: CSB produced and stored at the JAM production facility, is transported to the field warehouses and ultimately the schools utilising JAM’s logistical service, where it is managed and prepared by volunteers to feed to children.
Agricultural development programmes differ from country to country, depending on the context, geography, level of community involvement and development in that region.
- Angola: 190 school gardens established.
- Mozambique: 180 school gardens established.
- FEED: This efficient, scalable and sustainable approach aims to change economic scenarios by making farming profitable for communities.
- South Sudan: 21 farming projects implemented through Food for Assets in co-operation with the United Nations World Food Programme.
- South Africa: 900 backyard and community garden farmers trained in Gauteng province.
There are currently 691 active agricultural projects
180 Active Projects
- Since 2007, JAM has established gardens at 135 schools in three provinces, where JAM’s agricultural officers participate actively. In addition to this, schools have expanded their gardens using traditional community structures to establish community gardens named Machambas.
- The objective with the Machambas is two-fold; to produce enough crops to supplement school lunches and, to build the capacity of learners and communities using proven agricultural practices that ensure sustainability.
- JAM has also established a large semi-commercial farm in Pambarra, Inhambane, which provides technical training to local farmers and encourages sustainability through a community outreach programme.
600 Active Projects
- The three-year partnership between JAM and Wes-Bank will see 900 trained farmers in Orange Farm and West Rand (both in the Gauteng Province) by the end of December 2014.
- The first phase of the project capacitates farmers with agricultural skills through theoretical and practical training, gardening starter packs (tools), fertilisers and seeds or seedlings from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, followed by on-site technical support, monitoring and evaluation.
- The second phase focuses on tree nursery establishment as an incomegenerating activity, while the final phase will focus on setting up institutions like resource centres, training facilities, and women’s cooperatives.
21 Active Projects
- JAM works with WFP in three states in South Sudan through the Food for Assets (FFA) Programme with the aim to build community assets with a particular emphasis on agriculture.
- Through the FFA Program JAM has established 21 community gardens, nurseries and other agriculture and livestock projects.