Farmers triple yields from “last mile” access to inputs and advisory services

Published on

September 29, 2015
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AGRA demonstrates that providing farmers with access to inputs and advisory services bolsters the market of quality seed and fertilizers:

Farm Inputs Promotions (FIPS) ­Africa, a nonprofit organization working closely with AGRA to demonstrate and deploy new farming technologies, is tackling the twin challenges of low demand for high­quality seed and fertilizer, and limited access to crucial inputs for farmers in remote areas.

Working with a network of suppliers known as Village­based Advisors (VBAs), they promote small seed and fertilizer test packs through village­level and on­farm demonstrations. VBAs provide advice tofarmers not only on what seeds and fertilizer to use, but on planting techniques to enhance output. Some farmers have seen yield increases of up to four times their usual amounts due to improvements like drought­resistant seeds.

After a successful first season, farmers are convinced of the benefits and purchase commercial size packs of these inputs themselves ­stimulating demand for quality inputs. FIPS­Africa has established partnerships with local seed and fertilizer companies, to build their capacity to scale up and tailor their products to meet local smallholder farmers’ needs.

Through this approach farmers are lifting themselves out of poverty and proving that smallholder agriculture does not have to be a risky and worthless venture. 

About the Author(s)

Agra
Learning Lab Partner

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) facilitates FISFAP, an initiative that aims to reduce food insecurity and increase the incomes of about 700,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana by February 2020 by working with financial institutions and agriculture value chain actors.

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