Subsistence means growing enough food to feed yourself and your family. Growing enough to feed your neighbors? That’s community. It’s clear that farmers are the foundation of thriving communities. Despite their necessity, hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers around the world don’t have access to the agricultural inputs and training — as well as the financial literacy and services — they need to run successful farming operations.
In other words, the agricultural value chain in their region is underdeveloped. But we can change that, together.
An Answer in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia
There are millions of smallholders living and working in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia. Better Life Farming has supported hundreds of thousands of them by strengthening their local value chains. And the alliance has done so by utilizing a public-private partnership (PPP) model.
On the ground in these countries, the alliance established hundreds of neighborhood agricultural hubs run by local entrepreneurs. At these BLF Centers, farmers can buy products like seeds and crop protection. But they can also access industry-leading support and advice too.
This work won a Building Back Better Infrastructure Award from the United Nations. And in the coming years we are looking to expand this program within India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and beyond.
Public-Private Partnership: Sounds Complex, Simply Works
Public-private partnerships point the goals of governments, corporations and individuals in the same direction. In rural communities they can work to uplift farmers out of a cycle of poverty, setting the stage for sustainable growth generation after generation.
At BLF, our global partners provide support in the areas of innovative seeds and crop protection, drip irrigation technology, and financial literacy training to mitigate risk. And local partners have stepped in with expertise in digital banking, further agricultural products and market linkage. Our strong collaboration with local governments underlies the success of this effort.
Trust Builds Partnerships
“Trust is the biggest obstacle, and the biggest asset a relationship can have,” says Pedro Mateus das Neves, Phd. Dr. Neves is a Member of the Business Advisory Board for PPPs at the United Nations. When talking about public-private partnerships, he says trust is paramount. But it doesn’t happen overnight. When multiple large entities work together, establishing trust and collaboration takes work. And in our experience at BLF, the Indian, Bangladeshi and Indonesian governments have put in the work and built the trust.
“Building trust is about understanding others, understanding their weaknesses, understanding their strengths, and this goes both ways,” says Dr. Neves. The key is to move forward together.
The hundreds of thousands of success stories in India, Bangladesh and Indonesia would not have been possible without the skill and vision of the local governments. It’s this type of collaboration that a more sustainable and prosperous global future requires.
Improving Life From Every Angle
When imagining how a society could work better, we have to consider sustainability from three distinct angles. Dr. Neves and the United Nations call this thinking sustainable development. He says the three dimensions of sustainable development are: the economic, the ecological, and the civil social.
“Today, in a lot of countries, because of PPPs, a lot of jobs are being created,” says Dr. Neves. “One of the interesting things about Better Life Farming,” he says, “is not only are they creating jobs, but they are creating entrepreneurs. And they are creating women entrepreneurs. And this is very important. And so you're basically bringing in a social dimension.”
Everything BLF has done aligns with global sustainable development goals. Specifically, encouraging more young people into farming and empowering women in their communities. These common goals between private partners and the government make a public-private partnership a natural fit.
Working for Yourself, Not on Your Own
A true success story takes collaboration. It takes a decision by strangers to join in and create something alongside others. Dr. Neves says you have to ask yourself, if you’re in a position to create major change, are your decisions making the world a better place?
Every farming family deserves a foundation of support. And in a growing number of rural communities around the world, public-private partnerships are essential to laying that foundation.
Want to partner with us? Contact us!