Posts by Marie von Hafften
In the USFDA’s first major overhaul since 1938, new food safety requirements will demand higher standards of accountability than most smallholder farmers can provide. One solution: Low cost, cell-phone enabled software that helps smallholder farmers track produce.
How a Profit Focus is Expanding Water Access: Xylem sought to ‘upend’ the tradition business model, aiming for the BoP
When water technology company Xylem started manufacturing simple pumps for smallholder farmers, it wasn’t for charity, the company expected to profit. Its new Essence of Life line caters to the everyday water needs of farmers with small plots of land, among some of the world’s poorest customers. Like any of its customers, Xylem expects these farmers to pay for the right product at the right price.
Gum Arabic – the Crop that Binds : The Sudanese commodity that nearly every soda, pill and candy needs
Without a magical little ingredient called gum arabic, all the sugar in your soda would sink to the bottom of the can. Made from the hardened sap of the acacia tree, gum arabic is a little-known additive and adhesive critical in foods, medicines and cosmetics. Farmers who grow gum arabic should be benefitting financially from producing such a widely used crop. Instead they suffer at the base of a supply chain that faces an incredible spread of challenges.
Despite the growing demand for irrigation technology, the International Water Management Institute found that farmers still face significant barriers to groundwater irrigation success, particularly in Sub Saharan Africa. This is why the relatively low cost treadle pump grew in popularity, but it’s not the only solution.