Africa is recognised as the future breadbasket of the world. However, it still relies heavily on food coming from outside the continent, and its food import bill is projected to reach US$100 billion per year by 2030. Smallholder farmers are potential engines for economic growth – they are key to building sustainable food systems, advancing food security and achieving zero hunger.
Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) is a public-private partnership that leverages the networks of its members (AGRA, Bayer, Rabobank, Syngenta, WFP and YARA), which support African smallholder farmers to transition to commercial agriculture by providing information, investment and support at all stages of the process – from seed to market. FtMA has built a network of over 1,900 self-sustaining Farmer Service Centres (FSCs) that provide access to a variety of services to enhance farmers’ productivity, increase market linkages and encourage farm digitisation.
Support includes agronomic expertise, training and access to agricultural products and services, and is based on long-term linkages between farmers, buyers, input and equipment suppliers and financial institutions. This approach ensures that farmers can confidently plan, grow, store and sell their crops and maximise their productivity, profitability and resilience over the long term. Importantly, it also builds the confidence of players in agricultural markets in doing business with smallholder farmers, increasing private sector investment and involvement.
Since 2015, FtMA has successfully engaged over 490,000 farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia and has developed a network of last mile service delivery centres through which farmers interact with service providers. To date, FtMA has generated US$100 million in crop purchases by commercial buyers and brought together over 400 local private sector players, significantly increasing the transactions between them.
TRANSFORM supported FtMA by funding the training of a cohort of FtMA's Farmer Service Centres. FSCs received support through the partnership which resulted in the FSCs adding income streams such as seed multiplication and soil testing, which in turn, increased productivity of FtMA's farmers while increasing incomes for the FSCs.
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