Smallholder farmers are very important in producing food on the continent, and they continue to struggle to access good quality inputs, agronomic know how and markets for their surplus produce. Without access to markets, farmers are hesitant to invest in their farms because they risk purchasing fake and counterfeit inputs, to lack of markets to sell their produce and, if they had taken a credit, to become indebted. The risks are even more prevalent due to climate change and other natural hazards which can jeopardize the entire yield and income of farmers.
The above challenges led AGRA to invest in agribusiness consortia to make sure farmers access inputs and markets through contracted SMEs, whereby the financing of inputs and access to know how is secured by the agrodealers, off takers, financial institutions, and farmers alike on a risk sharing basis. These investments have given us a lot of insights on the potential of digital technology in addressing the key challenges that small scale producers face. Digital solutions can for example not solve for the lack of input delivery points, but it can authenticate those inputs. Digital solutions cannot create markets, but they do facilitate the flow of relevant market information.
Join AGRA in hearing from the practitioners what digitization has done to their business and reach to farmers and what challenges they have faced in making the digital solution work and scale