Overview of the project
Warc introduces no-till conservation agriculture in West Africa (Sierra Leone, and Ghana) through both our large-scale commercial Training Farms, and through our farming packages delivered to smallholder farmers. Through using the best of technology, designing inclusive business models, and transforming agriculture through no-till, we are able to increase food security, improve nutrition, and increase rural income generation, while managing the environment and our two key assets – soil and water.
No-till is arguably the most environmentally sustainable methodology of large scale farming, eliminating practices of slash and burn, preservation of top soil, reduced diesel usage, reduced fertiliser usage, and non-dependence of irrigated farming, thus reducing scarce water resources.
Warc sets up large scale commercial training farms, invests in the required machine assets, and puts 1,000+Ha of land under no-till conservation production for grains and cereals – maize, soybean, sorghum, and rice (all key crops in West Africa). We onboard, employ, and train rural non-skilled farmers in cohorts of 60-120, paying them a stable salary and developing their skills to become farm managers, machine operators and mechanics, warehouse managers, and financial managers. Upon graduation, the farmers deliver complete farming packages (inputs, machine services, knowledge), through our Service Delivery Unit (SDU), to up to 3,000 smallholder farmers per cohort. In this way, smallholder farmers around Warc’s Training Farm benefit from our technologies, move away from subsistence to small-scale commercial farms, and generate 3-5x the average rural income for the area in a single calendar year. Furthermore, in 3 years time, each Training Farm and SDU would have put (or converted) approximately 4,000Ha of land to no-till production, stopping slash and burn and saving thousands of litres of diesel – stopping the release of significant carbon emissions, increasing top soil retention, reducing fertiliser usage compared to conventional agriculture, and saving thousands of litres of water through non-irrigation (no-till increases water retention in the soil, allowing for multi-cropping without reliance on water through irrigation). Further, given the increased ground cover throughout the entire calendar year, no-till methodologies increase carbon sequestration; thus playing its part in reversing the effects of climate change.
We are now replicating this in Ghana, establishing a 1,200Ha Training Farm, looking to hire 60 farmers in 2019, and commence working with 500 smallholder farmers in 2020.
Our purpose is to transform rural Africa by catalysing conscious economic growth allowing for food security, improved nutrition, rural income generation in a financially and environmentally sustainable way.
1,180 Ha under no-till; 141,600L of diesel saved; 1,805Ha of land not slashed and burned; 120 full-time farm trainees, largest producer of rice and maize in Sierra Leone, 600 outgrowers/farmers that received our service; household farmers of Warc increased incomes by 3x in a single season
We have seen behavioural shifts amongst smallholder farmers; having seen the success on our Training Farm under our methodologies, they have shown desire and willingness to adopt new methodologies and take risk to move away from subsistence farming using harmful practices to modern practices.
A combination of owner equity, private investment, reinvested profits, grants, and long-term loan from an international development finance institution.
Agricultural primary production, smallholder training and services, consultancy in rural development. Warc operates in West Africa, with established agricultural production and consulting operations in Sierra Leone and Ghana. Warc runs three farms in two countries, with a combined cultivated area of 5,000 acres and serves over 600 smallholder farmers on our Training Farm, and served over 10,000 smallholder farmers across the country through extension in rice, maize, and oil palm.