Contract Farming

Three companies partnered with SAMP and invested into crop production including input support and embedded services such as management, extension and logistical support. Through consultations with private companies, SAMP identified high-value crops that are suited to the agro-ecological environment in Zaka, Swaziland and Lesotho and reliable companies that are willing to make investments into smallholder production of these crops. These are Tabasco Chilli, Maize Seed, cotton and legumes (cowpeas, sugar beans and groundnuts).

The income generated by these activities will enable farmers to become food secure and become part of the commercial environment. The role of SAMP is to share some of the initial risk with the private investors – shared cost of inputs and extension support – to kick-start the process, to build the relationship and trust between farmer and buyer, and to build the capacity of farmers, ‘walking’ with them and assisting them to meet the market production and quality specifications, and ultimately ensuring that they make a profit from their activities.

The SAMP Contract Growing strategy leverages increasing private sector investments over the three year (two season) period, gradually reducing reliance on external donor funding. By the end of the project period the relationship between farmers and private sector is expected to be fully commercial, requiring no further project support.