Due to lack of business and entrepreneurial skills, people in rural communities do not engage in meaningful business and economic activities; hence, the result is a persistent vicious cycle of poverty. We believe that business empowerment of smallholder farmers can help to tackle rural unemployment and improve livelihoods of rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Our three business empowerment strategies include business skilling, micro-financing, and cooperatives advocacy. Our approach involves working in collaboration with a rural Church to train and engage the local smallholder farmers in the aforementioned key business empowerment strategies.
Rural communities often lag behind their urban counterparts because of lack of business and entrepreneurial skills. Since a majority of rural communities depend on agriculture for their livelihood, they need skills in adding value to farm harvests, marketing, planning, budgeting, and supplementary skilling (in technical skills such as welding, carpentry, sewing, weaving, pottery, bricklaying, etc) to complement farm income, especially, during non-farming seasons. Eatbeta’s goal is to train rural smallholder farmers in a variety of skills aimed at improving and enhancing their livelihoods.
By working together, rural smallholder farmers can readily access better prices and market for their farm harvests and as a larger organized group, farmers can be able to solicit sizeable funding for things like seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, farm equipment, crop processing, harvest storage, and crop transportation; which often require considerable capital outlay. Eatbeta’s goal is to promote the importance of cooperatives and to be an advocacy for creating and establishing cohesive cooperatives among rural smallholder farmers.
One of the ways to empower rural farming communities is availing them with immediate access to affordable micro funds to enable them monetarily facilitate their micro businesses or farming projects. Micro-funds are often needed by rural smallholder farmers in order to purchase seeds and fertilizers, add value to farm produce, and transport products to the market or processing centers. Eatbeta’s goal is to mobilize and provide micro funds (ranging from $50 to $200) to smallholder farmers at affordable and reasonable terms–that are not provided by traditional financial institutions.