The smallholder market access research unit (SHMA) is one of the units of the Markets and Economic Research Centre (MERC), a research division of the NAMC. The SHMA drives smallholder market access development projects and endeavours to produce market access research output that is aligned with the strategic objective of the NAMC which is to increase market access for all market participants as set out in Section 2 of the MAP Act, 1996.
This is a platform where agripreneurs and farmers, mainly smallholders, can share their knowledge and skills, challenges, experiences and insights with one another. As a result, farmers learn from one another, develop strategies and adopt models that will enable them to become part of the value chain through the marketing of commodities and products that meet market standards and are safe for consumption.
This is a process that seeks to improve performance and achieve results of the NAMC projects by improving current and future management of outputs, outcomes and impact. The M&E allows the NAMC to collect, analyse and use the information to track a project’s progress toward reaching its objectives and to guide management decisions – this mainly constitutes the monitoring aspect.
The SMAT is a dashboard tool that is used as a measure of progress towards achievement of “market access for all participants” and in particular, market access for smallholder farmers in South Africa. The SMAT tool is made of indicators whose data is sourced primarily through a survey that is specifically designed to collect primary data on smallholder market access.
The Smallholder Market Access (SHMA) report provides a snapshot of the projects and research output which is aligned to the NAMC’s strategic objective of increasing market access for all participants. The purpose of the report is to give highlights of the projects and research outputs produced by the smallholder market access research unit of the NAMC.