Village Agronomy Model: Connecting smallholder farmers with agriculture extension services and markets to enhance income and productivity
The Village Agronomy Model (VAM) is a package of extension and agriculture input supply services devised and implemented by Oxfam to reach out to smallholder farmers in remote, underserved regions of rural Tajikistan. In a scenario where smallholder farmers mostly lack knowledge and skills on high-yielding agricultural technology and have weak access to reliable and quality input supply, VAMs have filled the critical gap by deepening the outreach of services, harnessing the power of markets and leveraging farmers’ institutions.
Over the past five years, VAM has reached out to 2,065 farmers growing a variety of crops, including vegetables, such as tomato, onion, cucumber, and watermelon, and grains, such as rice, building a robust network of extension services and spawning new supply chains in remote rural areas of the Khatlon region in southern Tajikistan. This has paved the way for sustained improvement in productivity and income of smallholder farmers and development of the incipient agriculture market in rural areas. In the face of chronic unaddressed challenges of the market system in rural areas, VAMs offer a bridging solution that can be scaled up and leveraged for systemic transformation in market support systems across the agriculture sector.