Prosista Moshi, a banana trader in Kilombero market shows off her display ready for sale.

SeFaMaCo intervention will seek to optimize farm potential for sweet potato production, based on a determined commercial loss of 1.74 billion annually in Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. 

The project will be implemented in Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania targeting 1,016,113 beneficiaries. The implementation approach is based on a partnership approach with FCI as the lead partner and three levels of partnership: sub-grantees, private sector innovation fund and strategic partners).   

SeFaMaCo Launch

The Tanzania Director of Crop Development Dr. Twahir S. Nzallawah was the Guest of Honor during the official launch of the SeFaMaCo programme that is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by Farm Concern International.

The programme, implemented through the SeFaMaCo Model, targets to bring the value chain actors i.e. seed suppliers, farmers, markets and consumers together in order to enhance the value chain production and efficiency. To implement this programme, FCI has partnered with smallholder farmers, research institutions, the private sector, development agencies and government. 

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Banana Value Chain has Immense Commercialization potential in Uganda and Tanzania

Banana is an important staple food for nearly 400 million people in many developing countries, especially in Africa. The total global production ranks fourth after maize, rice and wheat (CGIAR, 2014). The production of the ten leading banana producing countries is estimated to be about 95.9 million metric tons (FAOSTAT, 2012). Uganda and Tanzania are among the two African countries featuring among these top 10 producers, contributing about 11.57%) and 3.9 million metric tons (4.0%) respectively. In 2012 the volume of global gross banana exports reached a record high of 16.5 million tons (FAO, 2014). The SeFaMaCo landscape analysis conducted by Farm Concern International (FCI) shows that Uganda has an estimated demand of 10 Million TC plantlets, against the production capacity of about 600,000 plantlets annually. This huge deficit in supply presents an opportunity for commercial seed enterprises. 

Over 1,000,000 smallholder Farmers to benefit from SeFaMaCo programme targeting banana and sweet potatoes in Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

Over one million banana and sweet potato smallholder farmers are set to benefit from the SeFaMaCo programme in securing access to clean planting material, increased farmer skills knowledge and reliable markets for improved economic livelihoods. SeFaMaCo programme is a four year initiative, titled Integrated Value Chain development and smallholder farmer commercialization of Banana and Sweet potato for Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia based on a Seed- Farmer-Market and Consumer model. 

Speaking during the launch of the programme in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region at Farm Concern International (FCI’s) office, the Director of Crop Development at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Mr. Twahir Nzallawahe called on farmers in the targeted regions to participate in the project due to the benefits that will result therein... Read more


Going back to the roots: SeFaMaCo signals commercialization of orange fleshed sweet potato and banana in East Africa 

For generations East Africans have been relying on various crops as staple foods providing a strong basis for food-based nutrition. These include bananas and sweet potatoes. On this premise, between October 2013 and May 2014, Farm Concern International decided to undertake a value-chain wide landscape analysis with the ultimate aim of commercializing smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania. The Gates Foundation sponsored project was dubbed Landscape Analysis for Banana and Orange Sweet Potato (OSP) Seed Farmer- Market & Consumer Value Chains for Tanzania, Uganda & Ethiopia, or more commonly known as SeFaMaCo. 

In order to commercialize smallholders in these regions, a tradition that FCI was becoming widely known for among both donors and markets over the last decade, the institution set up a comprehensive process that focused on four main aspects of banana and sweet potato commercialization: assessing viable opportunities, barriers, consumer markets and identifying sustainable innovations. If these could be determined, and in effect, the business environment that smallholders dealing in these commodities could be understood, FCI was sure to solve the mystery of what it takes to enhance the seed-farmer-market-consumer value chain.

Over the course of the engagement, several milestones were achieved while learning how to commercialize smallholders within the region engaging in the two commodities. Firstly, through a think tank composed of technical experts from the 3 countries, a SeFaMaCo business model was derived that could be used during an intervention to capitalize on consumer demands for the benefit of smallholders. Secondly, a Technical Experts Advisory Group for the Model (TEAM) was established whose expertise could be engaged during an intervention to target bananas and sweet potatoes’ markets in each country. Thirdly, using innovative methods to conduct desk reviews, Focus Group Discussions and Consumers’ consumption trials, FCI was able to produce a landscape analysis on the relevant aspects affecting seed, farmer, markets and consumers which led directly to the fourth major achievement, a comprehensive report on the findings.

Ranging from nine reports on seed systems, production and marketing of sweet potato and banana; nutrition and consumption analyses; to consolidated value chain analyses on sweet potato and bananas, comprehensive research was done in the search for how to enhance smallholder commercialization’s next beneficiaries. Also, regional consultative forums were held on 5th & 6th November in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Kampala, Uganda with representatives of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, governments of the host countries, private sector players, researchers, industrial processors, market traders and farmers. Cumulatively, these consultative forums led to the development of a concept on how to enhance the banana and sweet potato value chain in Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania by commercializing the value chains in their entirety. Most importantly, as a result of the consultative forums and interactions held with the attendants, a proposal was developed. Entitled the “Integrated Value Chain Development and Smallholder Farmer (SHF) Commercialization of Banana and Orange Sweet Potato for Tanzania, Uganda & Ethiopia based on a Seed -Farmer- Market & Consumer Model”, it captured the spirit of the review and incorporated the efforts of 13 sub-grantees and 4 strategic partners. While it was submitted and is under review by the Gates Foundation, if accepted it could unlock the immeasurable potential of populations of smallholders eagerly waiting to feed Africa and the world.

Program Summary

The SeFaMaCo programme is a partnership that has been developed by Farm Concern International (FCI) with stakeholders through a Landscape Analysis process that involved over 20 institutions which included; private companies, informal wholesale buyers, small & medium enterprises, financial services providers, development organizations, research institutes, Government agencies, farmer organizations, consumers, schools and consultants.

The project will be implemented in Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania targeting 1,016,113 beneficiaries. The implementation approach is based on a partnership approach with FCI as the lead partner and three levels of partnership: sub-grantees, private sector innovation fund and strategic partners).  The SeFaMaCo intervention therefore aims at offering viable business opportunities and unlocking the unexploited incomes opportunity along banana and sweet potato value chains based on the following target highlights: 1,010,001 clients, 192,992 smallholder farmers (SHF) as commercialization project clients, 1,582 villages under the Commercial Villages Model, 934,400 households, 56,064 farm workers, 570 informal wholesale buyers, 100 women informal wholesale buyers. 525 smallholder seed multipliers, 74,752 women farmers comprising 40% of the target SHF and 18,688 youth who comprise 10%. The capacity of 15,580 farmer organization leaders will also be enhanced.


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FCI VISION : Commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond