Through its investments Jacoma is committed to achieving a positive social and economic
impact within the communities that Jacoma’s subsidiaries operate.
Beyond the employment opportunities provided by the nucleus estates, Jacoma also provides quality seed, training and market access to smallholder farmers. Farmers are provided with a contract that guarantees market access and a minimum price for their products.
With the support of our partners Jacoma is finding creative ways to provide irrigation, quality seed and integrated pest management skills to our farmers. Jacoma is also exploring innovative and creative opportunities to support smallholder farmers by providing irrigation infrastructure and new technologies to limit the impact of climatic events such as droughts and floods, as well as pest and soil fertility.
Jacoma targets the following key areas of social infrastructure to improve the well-being of its staff and farmers:
Access to water
A key element for farmers and community alike is access to water.
In Malawi many villages and communities do not have immediate access to water. People have to walk long distances to collect river water for domestic use, such as washing clothes. Near our estates we have installed a number of 5,000L tanks which are filled via our irrigation network. This allows local communities to access a water source within the community for domestic use. The result is a reduction of up to 10km in the distance people walk to collect water. For drinking water at one of our sites we have upgraded the school borehole to an automatic pump with a storage tank and hand washing station. This has allowed easier access to water and also made it easier for leaners at the school to follow good hygiene principles. At another site we have installed water filter units to clean the river water and make it potable. This has provided a clean source of water year round for the company’s staff and the local community.
Climate change is an ongoing issue within Southern Africa and Malawi is one of the countries hardest hit by such changes. Jacoma has identified the need to use irrigation for its own farms in order mitigate the impact of climate change. Neighbouring farmers are equally exposed to climate risks and for these farmers the impact of a drought can be catastrophic. As a result Jacoma has assisted the community to source funding for irrigation. As a pilot project Jacoma has started assisting communities to implement 100 ha of irrigation infrastructure within community areas. Through a cooperation arrangement, Jacoma and the community will share the costs of sourcing the water and Jacoma will provide a guaranteed offtake and market for key crops which the farmers can include in their crop rotations. The objective is to remove the market risk for the farmers through the offtake contract while at the same time assisting the farmers to meet or exceed production targets through the use of irrigation. The benefit is that farmers are able to grow two crops instead of one which will increase food security and allow farmers to boost their income.
Our communities and employees are very important to us. Investing in education facilities is the first step to empowering them.
Health facilities play an important role in community stability and quality of life for our employees. Jacoma is investing in local community clinics to improve access to healthcare.
AgDevCo a specialist agriculture impact investor, has established the Smallholder Development Unit (SDU) with support from the MasterCard Foundation (MCF) which will further strengthen its ability to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. The SDU will work with rural agricultural enterprises to develop equitable outgrower schemes boosting productivity and incomes for 490,000 smallholder farmers over five years.
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006.
For more information please visit www.mastercardfdn.org