National Association of Smallholder Farmers in Malawi
The National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM) is the largest independent, smallholder-owned membership organization in Malawi. It is founded on the principles of collective action and is democratically governed by its members.
Vision and Mission
All NASFAM's operation are guided by its vision to be:
the leading smallholder-owned business and development organization in Malawi, producing economic and social benefits for members, their communities and the country"
With the mission of NASFAM being:
"to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Through a sustainable network of smallholder-owned business organizations, NASFAM promotes farming as a business in order to develop the commercial capacity of its members, and delivers programmes which enhance member productivity"
The NASFAM concept grew out of a USAID funded project to support and organize smallholder tobacco production. Since 1995, the NASFAM focus has diversified production to other cash and food crops. NASFAM, as it is now, was legally registered under the Trustees incorporation Act in February 1998.
Association Structure & Corporate StructureHow is NASFAM organized?
NASFAM is organized into a unique extension network to support its membership of over 100,000 smallholder farmers. The smallest operational unit of NASFAM is the Club, made up of 10 – 15 individual farmers. Clubs combine to form Action Groups which are the key points in the extension network for dissemination of information to members, and for the bulking of member crops. Action Groups combine to form NASFAM's association, of which there were 40 in 2007 – 2008. NASFAM Associations are legally registered entities, member-owned and managed by farmer Boards. The Associations are grouped by geographical location under 14 Association Management Centre (AMCs). These provide management and operational support to the Associations in terms of production, marketing and community development. The AMCs are in turn supported by the NASFAM Regional and Head Office structures.
Commercial and Development
NASFAM functions are split into Commercial and Development activities. NASFAM commercial activities include the marketing of inputs to farmers and produce from farmers. NASFAM Development activities deliver community development and capacity building services to members. NASFAM Commercial and Development operations are respectively divided between and independently registered for profit company and legally registered NGO. Both are governed by a Farmer Board, democratically elected each year by the membership
NASFAM's Strategic Priorities
The current five year Strategic Development Plan (SDP) runs from 2006 – 2011 and addresses the challenges that face NASFAM in its mission to improve member livelihoods. These include the need to increase member loyalty and membership numbers, to increase crop production and commercial marketing capacities, and to develop the capacity of staff and systems to support these operations.
As such, the initial strategic priority is to improve and increase service delivery to members, subsequently moving towards increasing NASFAM's capacity for rural productivity and innovation.
Reflecting these priorities, the SDP works towards six key results areas (KRAs):
• Increased commercial revenue and profit
• Improved crop quality and quantity
• Enhanced Association performance
• Expanded member livelihoods
• Expanded influence on policy
• Enhanced systems perfomance