How we work

Rurality is forging connection in the supply chain, from the business to the smallholder farmers, catalyzing innovation in order to empower family farmers and build their resilience

Guiding principles of the How

We have a business minded approach. Solutions need to make economic sense to be self sustaining in time (≠ assistance). At the same time they need to carry ambitious environmental and social values. Our experience showed us that this apparently difficult equation can be solved through innovation which businesses do all the time to adapt to their changing environment.

We want to work with the supply chain. Farms are businesses who sell produce to clients. We believe that recognising this interdependence by working with both farmers and their clients is key to Rurality’s approach.

We don’t believe in one size fits all solutions. We approach every situation as a unique one, with its cultural, social and economic specificity. Only by analyzing it wholy openly can we design with the stakeholders what the right solution might look like.

We work in the field. We believe that it is only by being close to the issues, alongside farmers and stakeholders that we can understand their perception of reality and work together from there to jointly create innovation.

Empirical and practical. We believe that it is only by testing out new ideas that they can prove – or not, to be of value. Being practical and empirical is our goal to bring innovation to life and scale it up when and where possible.

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CONNECT

Rurality connects all key stakeholders of both the supply chain (farmers to brands, farmer to farmer) and the consumer side (farmers to society)

  • Working with companies that have smallholder farmers in their supply chain and connecting these farmers to the market
  • Sharing innovation, essential know-how and success stories between each other
  • Connecting farmers to other important stakeholders : research centres, schools, local administration, etc
  • Connecting farmers to the consumers

INSPIRE

Rurality inspires by communicating success stories, interviews and related contents

  • Case studies
  • News of the month
  • Interviews
  • Debates

STRENGTHEN

Rurality strengthens smallholder farmers through personalized support, value creation and development

  • Listen and understand the challenges faced by farmers when conducting rural dynamics diagnostic
  • Reinforce the exploitations’ performance through capacity building/coaching on financial management, agricultural practices, organization, etc.
  • Support transformation such as fermentation, drying, storage, and improve effectiveness
  • Foster collective innovation of new products or models and business incubation with farmers and their commercial partners
  • Develop market opportunities

THE RURAL DYNAMICS DIAGNOSTIC

The Rural Dynamics Diagnostic is a key and compulsory phase of our approach. It is an in-depth assessment of the farmer’s technical, physical, social, and economic environment. Each RDD is therefore unique and adapted to the local context with the objective to:

Understand the farmers’ situation and challenges

Build a solid trust with each farmer who embark on the Rurality journey

Design with the farmers the transformation strategies that will ultimately strengthen their resilience

Identify various stakeholders in the specific environment

How do we collect our data?

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All the information is collected in the field through group and individual interviews, field visits, GPS measurements, community meetings and observations.

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During 4 to 6 months, Rurality field officers collect the data with the farmers and their community, but also with the middlemen, the mill, local authorities, schools, NGOs

How to build trust?

Rurality field officers are in constant contact with farmers as they work and live in the villages. This approach is essential to build trust with them and to work closely together towards the action plan. Capacity building activities and technical training are also provided thanks to the team’s presence in the fields.

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Who are the stakeholders?

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What do we need to understand the farmers?

  • Farming system
  • Working conditions
  • Management practices
  • Living conditions
  • Household economics
  • Connections to local market
  • Background and history
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Rurality field officers and the RDD

Country coordinator, Prasad Vasudevon explains how the field officers conduct the RDD with palm oil farmers and which challenges they have to face.

Some more information

For more information about the Rural Dynamics Diagnostic and our approach, please have a look at the document below.

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