ETG and IFC partner to support smallholder farmers in Africa
06-07-2022 09:25:11 | by: | hits: 2759 | Tags:

ETC Group (ETG) and IFC announced a partnership to boost smallholder farmer productivity and food security across four countries in sub-Saharan Africa by increasing access to critical agricultural inputs and training services.

Through the project, which will run between July 2022 and December 2025, ETG and IFC will work with smallholder farmers across ETG's maize, soybean, and groundnut supply chains to enhance the sustainability of these crops, improve last mile distribution of inputs such as fertilizer, and increase market linkages for an estimated 200,000 smallholder farmers.

ETG's agri-inputs business division, with the support of the Empowering Farmers Foundation (EFF), will implement the project with IFC. The first project under the partnership will officially launch in Zambia this month, followed by Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

 "We are delighted to partner with IFC on this project. Development of smallholder farmers is critical to addressing a looming food crisis. This initiative will also assist with introducing sustainable practices and in turn, increase farmer livelihoods," said Anish Jain, ETG's Chief Treasury Officer.

"This project is an opportunity for ETG and IFC to boost the business capacity of small-scale agricultural service providers and the productivity of smallholder farmers. This is an important moment to accelerate local and regional food production and to strengthen the resilience of Africa's agricultural sector," said Samuel Dzotefe, IFC's Manager for Agribusiness and Forestry in Africa.

The core focus of the project will be on training different groups of stakeholders, including ETG field extension staff, agro-dealers, Village-Based Agents (VBAs) and farmer organizations. Training of the VBAs is intended to strengthen them as an effective resource for farmers in the VBA network, whereas agro-dealer training is focused on strengthening their business analytics, budgeting and planning skills, and strategies for growing their business. Farmer organization training will help the organizations become better distribution and product collection partners of ETG and smallholder farmers.

IFC will provide capacity building under its Agribusiness Leadership Program to help smallholder famers, farmer organizations and other actors along the supply chain to conduct sustainable farming practices, incorporate climate change risk mitigation and efficient use of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

The training will equip ETG personnel to continue the work beyond the life of the three-year program, helping to strengthen the outreach and impact of the program longer-term for farmers and farming organizations.