Distrust among actors in emerging commodity markets is very common and understandable; yet also a major barrier for business. Market players often face complex challenges working with small-scale farmers; and vice-versa.
In the 2SCALE program, iCRA focused on strengthening business relationships between farmers and local market actors: processors, wholesalers, retailers, input suppliers, financial and technical advisory services. iCRA delivered its capacity strengthening services in 26 commodity supply chains in 9 countries across East and West Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Benin, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali). Supply chains comprised dairy & feed, staple crops, soy & oilseeds and fruit & vegetables. The programme was funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The services of iCRA and its consortia partners IFDC and BoPInc supported companies and farmer groups to produce, transform and supply quality food products to local, national and regional end-user markets. iCRA established a community of national trainers and local coaches to deliver business advisory services at grassroots level. The trainers and coaches were among others essential in developing local business networks (or ‘Agribusiness Clusters’ as we used to call them), building trustful relationships, developing business plans, negotiating prices and loans, organizing collective storing and marketing, and developing new products and brands.
iCRA worked with over 200 agribusiness coaches, and delivered to them 60 training sessions, including tailor-made workshops and on-the-job coaching. The coaches - in turn - held over 600 coaching sessions in their agribusiness clusters. Around 550.000 small-scale farmers (of which almost 40% women) benefited from our on-the-job agribusiness coaching and training on for example good agricultural practices, better access to inputs and negotiation skills. Close to 2750 SMEs and producer organizations (over 30% women-led) were supported to develop innovative business strategies. Read more about the impact of our work in 2SCALE in these breakthrough stories from West Africa or this publication explaining our approach. Watch the 5-minute video above to see Roland - an agribusiness coach of a soybean cluster in Southern Benin - in action while leading a coaching sessions.