The Social & Agro-ecological Rice Supply Chain (SARSC)
In 2013 Mazao started a program called "Likilimba of Rice" with the innovative goal of establishing the first Social and Agro-ecological Rice Supply Chain (SARSC) in the world, an integrated and sustainable food system to bridge the gap between smallholder’s farmers and consumers. It consist in the Economic, Social and Individual Development of all stakeholders involved in the process from production to consumption and disposal.
The economic development of this particular chain ensures a fair market access to farmers, regular food supplies, a stable and low price of rice for the population and higher economic and social benefits for women retailers and middle-men. In addition, all the profit generated by the processing plant will be reinvested to the benefit of all supply chain stakeholders in form of: common funds for villages; extend agro-ecological training to more villages; micro-credits to women retailers, farmers and transporters; for the production of locally produced labour-saving technologies etc.
The revenue made by the processing plant is totally reinvested to support the operating expenses of the project as to ensure the sustainability of the program and its impact indefinitely.
The innovation brought by the SARSC is also in its participatory character. In fact a main objective is for the chain to play the role of a “Communication Hub” for empowerment. All different actors, interdependent to the supply chain for a relation of business, are encouraged to exchange knowledge and their critical analysis on technical as well as social issues.
Mazao organises regular participatory activities on a great variety of topics gathering together rice farmers and women retailers using the participatory rural appraisal methodology as well as the participatory theatre. Topics include: price, the market, best practice farming techniques as well as nutrition, gender and land property. At the polishing factory a variety of tools of the “participatory theatre” are used in the decision making process and for the creative development of each employee.
Programme de Production Likilimba
Mazao performs training in SRI (System of Rice Intensification); an agro-ecological and climate-smart rice production methodology that allows farmers to produce more grains using less seeds and water, and no purchased inputs.
Unlike other agriculture strategies, SRI does not rely on infrastructural projects, new varieties or fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides to raise yields. So far the SRI has allowed family farmers in the pilot village of Magenge to increase their production by 3 times, from 1-2t\h to 5-6t\h. Whereas our experimental field in Magenge has produced 9t\h.
The production program include the following 8 activities:
1. Training and follow up in SRI (System of Rice Intensification): that raise rice production from 0.5-1T\h to 5-10T\h
2. Exchange and experimentation of agroecology nature (of autochthonous sustainable techniques and discoveries in plant/soil science, natural resource management and conservation agriculture.
3. Ox farming and labour-saving technologies for Tillage work: a peasant family can increase cultivated land from 0.25-1H to 2-3H
4. Canalisation system for irrigation and drainage: that would enable farmers to perform 2 harvests a year and to acquire a most efficient water control.
5. Labour exchange system (likilimba): reducing effort and increasing arable land
6. Community Storages: to enhance rice preservation, lessen the farming tasks and facilitate the commercialisation process.
7. Training in post-harvest techniques: reducing waste, preserve quality and fasten the packaging process.
8. Production and commercialisation of cover crops (beans).