emkambo

Why linking farmers to the market is not enough

In spite of millions of dollars that have gone into market linkage initiatives in developing countries over the past few years, farmers still struggle to sell their commodities profitably. Post-harvest losses have not gone down, gluts continue to alternate with shortages and relationships between farmers and processors have not improved. This suggests market linkages is[…]

emkambo

Questions that must be answered before poor countries import or export food

In the absence of evidence-based agricultural policy formulation and implementation, most developing countries always rush to import food without sufficiently understanding their national contexts. During gluts, farmers in areas where fruits are produced in abundance do not benefit from selling nationally compared to when there are shortages.  On the other hand, when the price of[…]

emkambo

Balancing gender with technology and rural industrialization

Developing countries that have made commendable strides in using formal education to avail equal opportunities to men and women still have a lot of work to move beyond white collar opportunities. While scores of women are now occupying managerial positions that used to be monopolized by men, a formula is yet to be found for[…]

emkambo

Differentiating specialization from monocultural knowledge pathways

While monoculture is mostly understood as the cultivation of a single crop on a farm, area or country, the other half of its definition is the dominance of a single culture, worldview, mindset, set of tools as well as one way of gathering and sharing knowledge. Farmers who think success comes from producing one commodity[…]

More reasons for decolonizing banking systems in developing countries

While some developing economies are evolving rapidly, local banks are clutching onto colonial identities. For instance, in most African countries banking as a practice has kept colonial labels such as Commercial Bank, Merchant Bank and Building Society, among other categories whose meaning and differences are not clear to ordinary people. This identity crisis, with colonial[…]

emkambo

The character-building role of African ‘informal’ economies

People who co-exist with Kombi drivers in Zimbabwe, Matatu drivers in Nairobi’s traffic jammed roads, boda-boda motorcyclists in Kampala and similar situations in African cities have always wondered if those drivers are from the same mother. This is due to their character which is exactly the same. ‘Informal’ traders and MSMEs also share the same[…]

emkambo

Stimulating more value by tracking what is happening

Tracking local activities and keeping daily updates does not just enable communities to practice what they preach. It also helps them to increase awareness and value for the wider society. When farming and fishing communities are able to track local activities, they build their own capacity to analyze what is going on and identify next[…]

emkambo

The sum of community knowledge is greater than the sum of individual expert knowledge

While it is true that community knowledge is broader and deeper, most African farming communities hesitate to make decisions without consulting an extension officer. The need to cross-check and verify facts through an extension officer can be counter-productive if it causes farmers to stop experimenting and learning from their innovations. Surveys by eMKambo over the[…]

emkambo

Making sense of wealth distribution in the new networked economy

Just as they distribute commodities and knowledge to all classes of people and income levels, informal markets in developing countries continue to play a central role in redistributing wealth. African economies have traditionally been characterized and driven by community knowledge sharing and individual innovation. While individual innovation was privatized, local ideas were shared through the[…]

knowledge-driven-ways-to-assess-the-socio-economic-impact-of-agricultural-interventions

Knowledge-driven ways to assess the socio-economic impact of agricultural interventions

Measuring the authentic impact of development interventions remains a big challenge for many development organizations and governments, mainly in developing countries. Terms like Value for Money (VfM) and Social Return on Investment (SROI) are being mentioned repeatedly as organizations try to ascertain the value of millions of dollars that continue to go towards development. While[…]