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European Commission/HIVOs has supported Farm Concern International, FCI to generate sales worth USD 11 Million in partnership with 58 buyers through commercialization of 6,295 small holder farmers within a span of 24 months in Tanzania.
Agricultural is known as an engine for the Tanzanian economy. Agricultural output remains predominately based on small holder production. The sector is hampered by a combination of constraints one of them being access to markets. The majority who are affected with this reality are small holder farmers.
Farm Concern International being part of the community realized these challenges and with support from Hivos foundation, FCI has been implementing a three year project known as Nutrition Commercialization and Markets (NuCoM) for food crops among coffee farmers in Arusha, Meru, Hai and Siha districts in Northern Tanzania. As one of intervention strategies, FCI uses the Commercial Village Model (CVM) to encourage farmers to do collective sales in order to meet market demands for larger volumes. Farmers are also encouraged to ensure quality of the produce in order to meet market requirements and as a result, increase levels of household income. The intervention has also facilitated various training forums aimed at increasing consumption of nutritional meals. Youth and women remained strategic beneficiaries of the project.
For a long time now the different players in the agricultural sector have been working in isolation. The farmer, trader, wholesaler, government and the development agencies have been working at cross purposes; this has greatly affected the efficiency of various value chains in Africa. The broken chain has led to many smallholder farmers not reaping the full benefits of their agricultural enterprise. Most have been exploited by middlemen who buy their produce at lower prices during off peak seasons and sell the same at exorbitant prices during peak seasons.
This was until Farm Concern International under the Agri-Nutrition for Coffee Zone Programme in Tanzania funded by European Commission and HIVOs came up with an intervention to fill the gaps. The Programme aimed at bringing the different value chain actors together for full optimization of profit in the industry. The 3 year Programme targets 6,000 household farmers as direct beneficiaries in Meru, Arusha, Hai and Siha regions of Tanzania. This programme focuses on ensuring that farmers’ income increases and market linkages are created through input companies.
FCI held a market and trade forum that focused on unlocking market opportunities for smallholder farmers in Hai, Siha, Meru, and Arusha districts. The forum was conducted at Papa Motel at Bomang’ombe town in July 2014. The trade forum brought together market players including smallholder farmers, traders and buyers, input suppliers, non-governmental organizations, and the government.
The outcomes of this forum were amazing! The 572 smallholder farmers (142 Meru, 138 Arusha, 144 Siha and 148 Hai) who attended the forum had the opportunity to meet and market their products to the participating stakeholders. Smallholder farmers will now be able to access markets for the maize, beans, and millet value chains out of the trade linkages made during the forum. Two out of the major buyers; Monaban and Ivaeny Saccoss Lawate will be able to take up 4000 MT of maize, 5800 MT of beans and 2000 MT of millet.
Additionally, farmers will now have access to input supplies like seeds, fertilizers and farm equipment. Input supply companies including Kibo Seed Company and Suba Agro, which operate across the Arusha region and who attended the market forum indicated their willingness to partner with farmers to ensure that farmers get quality agro inputs and hybrid seeds.
Traders are important partners to smallholder farmers. They often offer an important and cheaper outlet for farmers who want to dispense their produce rather than wait for the consumers to visit them. However, by operating individually, traders limit their opportunities towards business development in terms of capital growth, purchasing power and access to quality and required volumes..Read More
FCI VISION :Commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond.