Agro-Forestry & Food Security Programme

Next Step Initiative is helping educate, train and transform the African Diaspora in Scotland and thus help them to reconnect with Africa. We at Next Step Initiative believe in helping deliver empowerment and transformation instead of introducing mere change (which is reversible) and are committed to engage in fostering ‘’trade’’ and not ‘’aid’’ as the key to delivering a permanent escape from the pervasive dilemma and despair of the poverty trap and food insecurity.  Out Agro-forestry model involves training in both technical and financial entrepreneurship and the resultant improvement in harvests creates surplus income for hitherto impoverished farming families thereby improving food security. It creates jobs for young people, addresses the communal negativity of urban migration, embraces female employment and provides hope for young people

Our Capacity Building Programme in Agro-Forestry and Social Enterpreneurism For African Scottish Lead Social Enterprises and Communities:

NSI is helping transform African Diaspora In Scotland and Helping Them to Reconnect with Africa

We at Next Step Initiative (NSI) firmly believe that fostering ‘trade’ and not aid is the key to delivering an escape from this pervasive dilemma. What is abundantly clear is that the time to engage in this strategic re-direction has arrived. All the signs from Scotland and Africa illustrate that the continent is awakening and changing. There is growing acknowledgement of the unique untapped potential from creating employment for women and young people within the African diaspora community in Scotland and how that can open other markets across Scotland and Africa. Newly created disposable income from this windfall can help enable women’s aspirations to successfully educate their families and help grow a new ‘strata’ of wealth and consumer spending.

 

If NSI solutions are applied and community empowerment and engagement are deployed, then together, we can create a movement which will generate a dynamic cascading effect and spread from village to community, from district to region and ultimately from country to Continent.  For example, NSI solutions in Agroforestry regeneration employ NSI designed ‘knowledge management tools’ which improve farming yields between 6-10 times better than current attainment levels. NSI has the Entrepreneurial tools and coaching to assist in creating new markets for African communities in Scotland and how they then reconnect within their respective countries of origin and the transformative management tools to enable and help deliver effective implementation of initiatives which underpin positive impact and sustainable change. Through employing NSI expertise, techniques and tools, we can help transform Africa, create food surpluses, create employment, deliver improved livelihoods, raise self- esteem and embed a self-perpetuating platform of growing knowledge and expertise which will sustain and deliver permanent and irreversible transformations across the Continent.

 

How do we do it?

Our NSI team listens to the experiences of African Diaspora asartisans and practitioners in Scotland and learns from their range of abilities and from their environment and cultural contexts, so that NSI better identifies and understands their challenges. NSI then gets to the heart of the real problems facing many African Diaspora practitioners in Scotland recognizing that ‘to judge a nation’s health, count the water taps and not the hospital beds’. We at NSI identify the limitations and restrictions of previously ineffective strategies  which have consistently delivered disappointing outcomes and poor results. As Thomas Paine in Common Sense wrote in 1777, ‘a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right’.

Firstly, NSI gathers evidence and information to better understand contexts and help us think ‘front line’ challenges through. We identify the unwritten rules or outdated behavioral techniques which many practitioners (and even managers) use to run their organisations but which often impede profitability, miss anticipated targets. These are often well intentioned or archaic embedded solutions which fail to engender positive engagement and which often stifle flow or momentum. NSI then aligns the best of local expertise and local context to our formulated ‘knowledge management based’ NSI thinking and expertise.

 

NSI then devises solutions and prepare tactics to introduce transformation and help introduce optimal, positive engagement and momentum.  We select key ‘user friendly’ solutions and introduce them into areas of challenge and apparent impasse. We introduce initial transformation strategies  which help enable our partner practitioners to gain insights which then enables them to best understand the benefits and the advantages of transformative change. We identify practitioner ‘advocates’ (influential workers and managers) who become our ‘champions’.  These NSI advocates get the message, quickly understand and embrace the values of transformation. NSI then harness and hone their leadership skills. We coach, educate and empower our identified and enlightened ‘influencing advocates’ to become ‘trainers’ themselves and then work alongside these ‘advocate leaders’ to work alongside NSI and jointly implement the delivery of sustainable change. NSI constantly monitors, fine tunes and reviews our strategies to best suit evolving situations and improve implementation.

 

Working alongside our ‘influential advocates’, we maximise the resultant, improved results and satisfaction derived from our proactive and positive changes, to gain ‘even more’ front line support from inquisitive, interested and envious adjoining communities. This then generates a region-wide ripple effect which in turn encourages acceptance and positive engagement. This enables NSI to ‘embed’ our newly introduced and improved processes. Our NSI techniques then become understood and accepted as ‘best practice’ initiatives into their communities and daily work and activities. Working together, we thus help create sustainable transformations and not fleeting changes.

 

Our newly identified and appointed ‘champions’ thus become NSI sustainable transformation ‘evangelists’ who help embed demonstrable, understandable and user friendly cutting edge, innovative techniques to win community wide support and the hearts, minds and a new unstoppable momentum of belief and hope for disadvantaged African people previously lost and forgotten in the pervasive, debilitating and cyclical trap of poverty and despair. Engaging NSI ethical and transformative solutions enables the creation of a burgeoning platform of hope, salvation and family prosperity.

What does this mean in the real world?

 

The NSI exemplar of transforming subsistence From through our Scottish African Trained Diaspora Led Social Enterprises ‘hand to mouth farmers’ into becoming entrepreneurs

NSI recognises however, that to tap into aspiration requires downtrodden and disadvantaged people to learn and gain insights into life changing solutions. NSI knows that gaining insights delivers embedded belief and support and captures empowerment, commitment and engagement. Accordingly, our NSI ‘model’ helps Scottish African Diaspora Led Social Enterprises and aspirants discover and recognise tangible economic and positive benefits. It helps them regain self-belief and renewed self-esteem. Success can then breed more success and create a momentum of action  which will deliver sound platforms of growth and in so doing, underpin the emergence of flourishing future societies.

 

Current Landscape

Agriculture is Africa’s largest economic sector, representing 15 percent of the continent’s total GDP, earning more than $100 billion annually. It is highly concentrated, with Egypt and Nigeria alone accounting for one-third of total agricultural output and the top ten African countries, generating 75 percent of the continents production. Africa’s agro-ecological potential is massively larger than its current output -  however, so are its food requirements. While more than one-quarter of the world’s arable land lies in this continent, it generates only 10 percent of global agricultural output and over 70 % of African people suffer food shortages and their daily existence and survival remains fragile and often life threatening. Yet Africa has the unique advantages of massively underdeveloped low cost solutions within its own grasp. Africa enjoys the distinct advantages of excellent growing conditions and good farming weather, extensive availability of farming land and a huge labour force including the massively untapped potential of employing women and young people.

 

Key traditional challenges inhibit the faster growth of agricultural output in Africa. 85 percent of Africa’s farms occupy less than two hectares thus production is highly fragmented, hampered and frustrated by farmer’s lack of knowledge of modern agroforestry techniques and their ongoing engagement and reliance upon outdated and ‘archaic’ farming practices. The groundbreaking NSI agroforestry farming model embracing knowledge and techniques addresses this challenge and allows small farms to gain the benefits of scale and insights from engagement with cutting edge knowledge resources. Our fit for purpose model is cost effective, proven and is massively fit for purpose and can sustainably raise small farmers from poverty. Engaging with our NSI innovative farming techniques which teach soil regeneration, plant husbandry and delivering knowledge insights, increases harvests and yields by a factor of 6 to 10 times existing production levels and when rolled out across the continent can provide surplus harvest, create new markets, raise employment, embed sustainable new knowledge and deliver self-perpetuating platforms of production, which enable African farmers and communities to become masters of their own destinies and address once and for all the pernicious curse of Africa’s poverty trap.  

 

As an ‘added-bonus’ in Tanzania, where our teams and trained Scottish Diaspora led social enterprises have operated pilot schemes, more women are employed and young people have now no need for embarking upon the risks which come from urban migration. Family units are held together and the more ambitious and entrepreneurial young farmers see the commercial potential of this initiative and look to new and more commercial agro-forestry models for economic opportunities

 

NSI stands resolutely behind the creation and development of growth and momentum processes, achieved through the provision of our knowledge platforms which align with local expertise. Working with our partners in Public, Private Partnerships and by emphasising community engagement and entrepreneurism, we can replace aid with trade and help transform African communities both in Scotland and in Africa.


We invite you to work with NSI in helping African communities both in Scotland and in Africa to generate food surpluses, create new markets, help introduce a new strata of dynamic, economic spending power, deliver hope where there was only despair and as a result, help NSI transform the lives and potential of deserving people across the African continent.

Next Step Initiative consultancy and capacity building ‘transformation’ programmes , address these challenges. Short term change through stop gap solutions are reversible and a waste of investment, time and resources. Sustainable Next Step Initiative resourced ‘transformation’ programmes deliver permanent, well supported industry sectors and underpin self-determination inclusion and empowerment. Our self-perpetuating methodologies, create trade and not aid and deliver hope to struggling Africans.  Next Step Initiative programmes offer hope where there was once only despondency and despair.

 

Next Step Initiative Consultancy and Capacity Building Programmes recognise that we can learn so much from existing African practitioners, artisans, local experts and from local culture. Accordingly, one of our proudest attainments is our ability to ‘listen’ and learn. We harness this front line learning knowledge to our sector expertise, our experience, our delivery of cutting edge technical, academic and management techniques and our success in coaching and implementing our management Tools.


These tools are user friendly, understandable, helpful and encouragingly engaging. Deployment of our techniques helps build strong local engagement, delivers mutual respect and grows sound relationships. Our project delivery is open to improvement and our content is constantly flexible and our management teams are keen to learn and are always approachable and accessible.  We constantly ‘listen and learn’ on a daily basis which enables our ability to diversify, spread our exposure and mitigate project and sector risk.

Partners