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Farm to Market Alliance

Farmer service centres (FSCs) can be a critical coordination platform in agribusiness. They bridge the gap between purchasers, smallholder farmers and other agri-players to support profitable businesses and achieve commercial viability within value chains. The stronger and more stable the FSC, the more viable the whole chain.

Acting as a central hub, FSCs address last mile/first mile inefficiencies and logistical issues and provide farmers with access to necessary services that increase productivity. These include farm inputs such as seeds and fertilisers, mechanisation, agricultural extension services, finance and other relevant services.

In addition to providing inputs for farmers, they provide an aggregation point for farmers’ produce; connecting farmers to buyers and providing market partners with quality and quantity assurance.

What are we doing?

This project will establish 150 FSCs in the Singida, Manyara and Morogoro regions of Tanzania to ensure markets work better for farmers.

The FSCs will provide productivity-enhancing services such as input and output aggregation, mechanisation services, post-harvest handling and finance to 28,000 farmers, focusing on the maize, rice, beans and sunflower value chains in the Manyara Region, the rice and maize value chains in the Morogoro Region; and the sunflower and rice value chains in the Singida region.

The project will focus on four key interventions:

NETWORK BUILDING

A network of FSCs will be created involving members such as cooperatives, lead farmers, SMEs, agro-dealers and village-based advisors. These networks will give smallholder farmers access to quality services, capacity building tools, coaching and mentoring support and help with commercial viability and sustainability.

ENHANCING PRODUCTIVITY

FSCs will be supported to provide a variety of services to smallholder farmers, such as input and output aggregation, soil testing, mechanisation and financial services. All of these productivity enhancing services will be demand-driven and contribute to the commercial viability of the FSCs. Acting as an efficient, cost-effective supply chain, FSCs will be supported to identify and select credible partners.

MARKET LINKAGES

FSCs will act as the coordination point between supply and demand. The project will support FSCs to build trust with buyers through regular and accurate provision of data on crop projection at different stages. We will give farmers security by conducting due diligence on buyers, who will be engaged and committed to purchase through off-take agreements. FSCs will also facilitate logistics, such as transport, which is currently an untapped area that could provide an opportunity to engage young people.

FARM DIGITALISATION

Digital services will build a collaborative and trust-based system amongst the various stakeholders. Farmer registration will be linked to FSCs to provide farmers with better services and track impact. The project will also provide real-time data and alerts on key activities, including inputs, demand aggregation, availability of produce, information and advice and will also anonymise personal farmer data.

Who are we working with?

The Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) is a unique alliance of six agri-focused organisations, including the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Bayer, Rabobank, Syngenta, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Yara International ASA.