“Before participating in the programme, it was very difficult to work. But now, thanks to the Farming Business Adviser programme, everything has changed. I can grow and harvest my produce all year round with the new tunnel, send my children to school and invest in our family business with my wife.” Simão, Angonia, Mozambique.
Before the project, Simão was a smallholder farmer with unstable income. Some months, when yield was high, he could afford to send his children to school, but other months were more difficult.
In Mozambique, ECLT is supporting the training of Farming Business Advisers, like Simão, to work with other smallholder farmers to share advice on farming techniques and methods. As part of the project, Simão was provided with a tunnel where he can protect his produce from the elements, and where he can train 30 other farmers.
Supporting farmers to improve their income can make all the difference in the fight against child labour. Often in rural communities, when parent or caregivers do not earn enough money to feed or pay school fees, they have no choice but to send their children to work to supplement family income. In 2019, the ECLT Foundation launched a new project phase, expanding our work with Mozambique partners, iDE and FAA to support children, farmers and families. By 2021, the project will reach an additional 32,000 children, community members and farmers in Angonia district. Programmes are focused on supporting quality education and reducing poverty as well as improving the resilience of smallholder farmers in Mozambique.
Becoming resilient to shocks
In 2019, Mozambique suffered two major cyclones, affecting 3 million children, families and farmers. To support rural communities and help farmers get back on their feet, ECLT’s implementing partner iDE set up a scheme called the Farmer Resilience and Rebuilding Initiative (FRRI). Farmer Field Schools are part of the FRRI and aim to improve farmer family livelihoods through technical farming and business skills training. Farmer Field Schools are adapted to the supply and demand of local markets so that farmers always have a place to sell their products. Basic business skills such as profit calculation, record-keeping, and marketing are also providing farmers with ways to diversify their income and become more resilient to poor yields and economic shocks. Local trainers work with community members to learn about land preparation, sowing, fertilisation, pest and disease control, and other activities before and after harvest. These skills are becoming increasingly critical as the world faces new challenges. During COVID-19, when farmers struggle to access markets, having other sources of income can mean all the difference for rural families.
Working together for long-lasting solutions
In 2018, the ECLT Foundation joined together with the Government of Mozambique in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a platform to combat child labour and strengthen children’s rights. Over a 3-year period, the MoU will focus on getting children out of child labour, community education and training increasing awareness and communication, institutional capacity building and revising legal frameworks. By supporting the Government and taking a holistic approach against child labour, ECLT helps to ensure that progress made for children, farmers and families in Mozambique which is systemic and sustainable.
For more information about our work in Mozambique check out our latest Annual Report!