Clean Yam Planting Material
Initially the programme was put forward as an RIU Best Bet
but the programme lacked a private sector partner. Through on-going negotiation, however, it became apparent that individual smallholder farmers could be developed as yam entrepreneurs, rather than repeating the technical skills aspect, which subsequent monitoring work showed to have been 'sticky' - with the farmers who had been trained applying what they had learned, albeit at a subsistence level rather than on a business footing. RIU has championed the development of smallholders from subsistence to entrepreneurial activities.
In June 2010 RIU facilitated a process with the project team to change the emphasis from technical development to an approach which looked at developing seed yam entrepreneurs. This meant that business skills development needed to be added to the technology.
The team wanted to work with both small and larger scale seed yam producers. Their aim was clarified as boosting seed yam enterprises to bring benefits to the entrepreneurs but also to the thousands of farmers who would now be able to access high quality planting material which could boost their yields by up to 700%.
On this basis RIU invested funds from its Commissioned Work
stand. The role of this fund was to be able to be responsive to emerging opportunities or to allow a longer facilitation process for a bid not ready for Best Bets. Aqua Shops
was also funded in this way.