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1395 Words Dec 21st, 2012 6 Pages
An Overview of NASFAM
The National Smallholder Farmers' Association of Malawi (NASFAM) is the largest independent, smallholder-owned membership organisation in Malawi. It is founded on the principles of collective action and is democratically governed by its members. All NASFAM's operations are guided by its vision to be: “the leading smallholder-owned business and development organisation 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 organisations, NASFAM promotes farming as a business in order to develop the commercial capacity of its
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Members are also provided with community support to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS, increase gender equality and food security, as well as ensuring that the voice of the smallholder is heard through policy lobbying and advocacy.

Who are NASFAM members?
Around 80% of Malawi's population depend on smallholder farming for their livelihood. Like most Malawian smallholder farmers, an average NASFAM member farms less than one hectare of land to support a family of six people. Membership is both men and women, and NASFAM’s gender programme ensures equitable participation of both sexes in farming and Association leadership. Member crop production is typically a 60:40 split between cash and food crops.

Photos: Simon de Trey-White

Crops supported by NASFAM
NASFAM promotes diversification away from dependency on maize and tobacco, and thus supports production and marketing of crops such as groundnuts, chilli, rice, soya, beans, sunflower and others as appropriate to market demand.

How is NASFAM organised?
NASFAM is organised into a unique extension network to support its membership of around 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.

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