Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Which comes first, markets or produce?" pt 1

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

All the secular analysts and aid workers, insist that when they try and help a community to produce more commodity, they must first develop a market and set up the appropriate infrastructure i.e.willing buyers, packaging and transport to market.

This actually hasn’t happened unless an entrepreneurial businessman or commodity broker sets up a commercial ‘Outgrower’ Scheme. These enterprising investors only come in if they have assessed the feasibility of the scheme, which would include their own market research.

However, because staple foodstuffs have a low value to weight ratio, these investors normally neglect the more distant and isolated communities, because the cost of investment and transport would be much greater.Also an investor would not consider coming into any area to set up business unless he could be assured of a reasonably consistent volume of supply of that commodity each year.

Africa’s average yield for maize has been around the one-tonne per hectare therefore mark for the last fifty years, with wide vacillations in annual yield. This means that the bottom half of producers have a much lower and more unreliable performance level, and therefore a much higher risk and much less feasibility for investment.

It is God’s way that we first begin by increasing yields, on a much more consistent basis, at the most efficient cost of production, which is what Foundations for Farming has been shown to achieve. This means that we are being faithful with the first things that God has given us, and then He adds to us. Investing in marketing infrastructure before this foundational faithfulness is like trying to build on air from the windowsills.

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