Building downstream delivery systems for smallholder farmers while providing support to local private sector to scale technologies and services to farmers.
Through past experience, we know that technologies (such as quality seed and fertilizers) are best delivered to farmers if packaged as a suite of services from local businesses, and after a lot of research, discussions, and collaborations, AGRA introduced the consortia model in 2017.
The model enhances collaboration with the local governments, farmers, and businesses to deliver integrated programming at farmer-level. The government, development agencies, and businesses come together within a defined geographical area to collaborate to achieve agriculture transformation with smallholder farmers’ front and center.
Consortia have therefore become a key delivery vehicle in our efforts to strengthen systems and farmer interventions. Within our five-year strategy, consortia deliver value by helping farmers gain access to inputs, markets and financial services and achieve increased productivity and food security. They also provide a platform for SMEs and other local ‘actors’ to work together in the agricultural landscape. We define a consortium, or ‘integrated consortium’, as a group of affiliated rural organisations, agencies and businesses who work together within a defined geographical area. Collaborating to achieve mutually agreed objectives, they help to deliver the critical components of agriculture transformation.
The consortia model brings together organizations that have the experience, skills, and knowledge to address the problems currently faced by farmers. It weeds out duplication, is more effective in reaching out to the wider community of smallholder farmers and putting the local governments at the forefront of the green revolution to create the desired business environment.
The model as best suited to provide novel and holistic solutions to the constraints faced by smallholder farmers and providing the necessary linkages across the crops value chain needed for long term solutions and sustainability.
Bringing our core systems together
Through our investment in consortia, we are able to facilitate the integration of our six core agricultural systems: seeds; fertilizers; extensions; input markets; inclusive finance; and output markets. The interaction between these systems enables key players and service providers to work together to deliver value to smallholder farmers.
This consortia approach complements our ‘agricultural corridor’ and ‘cluster’ strategies in countries such as Mozambique, Tanzania and Burkina Faso. As a model, it is rooted in the understanding that, in order to deliver relevant, high-quality goods and services to farmers, specialised teams need to focus on the challenges that have restricted progress in the past. Helping farmers access and understand the value of high-quality seeds and fertilizers, achieve higher yields, take advantage of market opportunities and protect harvests from degradation are just some of the issues we address through the consortia approach.
Through a combination of funding, technical input, coaching and convening, AGRA and our partners bring together the goods and services necessary for rapid agricultural development. In addition to core consortium members, our consortia link to private agribusiness and government bodies which are charged with driving these processes over the long term.
Our work in Strengthening Systems for Scaling Technologies is delivered through the following specific intervention areas: