Agro-dealer Network Development

The establishment of an agro-dealer network in Zaka is well aligned to current government efforts of establishing a national agro-dealer network with assistance from COMESA. The establishment of an agro-dealer network is a cost-effective method of availing inputs to farmers as well as strengthening possible output markets. The scheme leverages input to make inputs available to farmers; donor support is restricted to the provision of a credit guarantee (credit schemes) or possibly insurance costs (consignment schemes) and training. The development of an agro-dealer network will go a long way to solving market failures which reduce the profitability of small holder farming and therefore farmer incomes. It will also make improved seeds accessible to smallholder farmers.

The project is also addressing the problem of farmer access to output markets by training agro-dealers to bulk-up produce and linking them to commodity marketing companies. To do this, SAMP collaborates with the existing CNFA Agro Dealer Strengthening Programme funded by USAID and provide training to the selected agro-dealers on various business aspects and ‘commodity buying and bulking’. In this way agro-dealers are encouraged to buy produce from farmers for onward sale further up the value chain.

Some 29 Agro dealers from Zaka have so far been trained in Business Management and SAMP is assisting them with putting in place concrete business systems to boost their businesses.