12 Jun 2020
ICCO Cooperation

Strengthening African Rural Smallholders, in short STARS, is a five-year (2017–2021) project in partnership with Mastercard Foundation and ICCO Terrafina. Through a market system development (MSD) approach the project focuses on improving access to finance and markets for more than 200,000 smallholder farmers in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal and Burkina Faso. The project plans to have an overall impact in the lives of more than 1 million people.

In all four countries, STARS has a specialized MSD team partnering with microfinance institutions, the private sector, producer organizations, and various government bodies to create systemic change benefitting smallholder farmers. Below you will find a selection of case studies, lessons learned, and success stories of the STARS activities in each of the four countries.

11 Jun 2020
ISF Advisors, Swiss Re Foundation
BMS cover photo

Smallholder farmers are uniquely vulnerable to a wide range of disruptive shocks, from volatile markets to climate change. In the face of healthcare and supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19, building farmers' resilience to such volatility is more important than ever. Advisory services—which provide farmers with knowledge, tools, and market linkages—help farmers adopt optimal practices that build their resilience to these kinds of shocks. Yet there’s a gap in understanding the different models of advisory services and the ways that donors and other stakeholders can enable them.

While most advisory services are provided through government-, donor-, or corporate-subsidized models, a growing number of commercially sustainable service providers are emerging—often with the help of digital technology. Alongside the broader trend toward sustainable and market-driven development interventions, these models have the potential to deliver advisory services sustainably, effectively, and at scale. This potential is particularly salient when it comes to advisory services focused on climate-smart agriculture.

To map out this opportunity, the...

01 Jun 2020
Learning Lab, AgDevCo

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing most businesses to adapt to new, digitally-driven ways of working. This is especially the case for agricultural SMEs, whose business operations are deeply reliant on face-to-face interactions to deliver inputs, provide agronomic advice and support, and transport and sell crops. 

Technology can be a powerful tool for smallholder outreach and engagement when implemented with a clear strategy and defined goals. But knowing where to start can be a daunting task, especially in the current environment where workflows and business priorities are changing daily.

This webinar from AgDevCo SDU and its partners helps demystify technology projects and empower organizations to start documenting their vision, defining their requirements, and set out on a successful digitization journey.

Webinar Panelists:

  • Sandi Roberts: AgDevCo
  • Matt Capelli: Independent technology consultant

Guest Speakers: