Gondwe from Malawi switched to growing sunflowers and soybeans in 2012. However, selling the produce proved difficult. Gondwe got together with other farmers to form a co-operative. Through contract farming with the Sunseed Oil Company, a scheme supported by the Green Innovation Centre, seed supply as well as sales are now guaranteed. Furthermore, the farmers can benefit from the firm’s extension service. “We used to be price-takers, but now we tend to be price setters,” the farmer noted enthusiastically, describing the changes the scheme brought about for him and his colleagues.

The Indian organisation Apmas collaborates with the Green Innovation Centre to develop community-based organisations in rural areas. Thanks to the establishment of self-help groups, the income and bargaining power of numerous farmers has improved. In particular, the prospects for women and young people in the villages have got better. Not only has there been less migration. “Families that migrated have in fact even returned to the villages,” said Apmas managing director TCS Reddy.

By 2021, the measures in the Context of the Green Innovation Centres are to have increased the income of 860,000 small farmers, created more than 14,000 jobs, educated/trained 1.1 million people and improved the livelihoods of seven million people, according to Proksch.