Dialogue Issue 3: The future of smallholder farmers belongs to the organised

The National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM) is a citizen owned non-governmental organization that provides business services to smallholder farmers. NASFAM was founded on the principles of collective action and self-reliance and seeks to empower farmers at the grass-root level by encouraging them to form cohesive village based agri-business clubs and associations to increase farm incomes and contribute towards the economic development of the country. NASFAM was established in 1997. At the time of its formation, there were 14 farmer organizations representing over 24 000 farmers. Currently NASFAM has a membership of 31 associations representing over 80 000 smallholder farmer families. "If an average family has six members, we therefore have an impact as an association on over 480 000! NASFAM is governed by a Board of Trustees who are appointed by members of the association. We pride ourselves in NASFAM as it is 100% owned and controlled by farmers who actively participate in the affairs and operations of the Association as we are neither political nor governmental," said Mr. Aaron Likupe, the Skills Development Unit Manager for NASFAM.