Agro-dealers supported by the TEAMS program in Manica and Sofala provinces prove to be a vital cog in Mozambique’s agriculture supply chain, providing access to last-mile services, input supply, and distribution and critical information to smallholder farmers.
“Many farmers successfully grow certified seeds and harvest for re-sale.”
The four implementing organizations provide technical expertise and resources in a strategically defined geographic network within the two provinces. IFDC covers Buzi, Chibabava, and Dondo districts in Sofala Province, while United Purpose and AKSM concentrate in Sussundenga, Macate, Vanduzi, and Dombe districts in Manica Province. AFAP covers Nhamatanda, Buzi, and Chibabava districts in Sofala Province and has an all-around role in facilitating agro-dealers’ infrastructure and training in the two provinces.
AFAP’s key interventions in the TEAMs program are to develop input distribution and retail networks to increase smallholders’ accessibility, affordability, and usage of quality improved inputs for increased production and productivity. AFAP trained 17 agro-dealers, 10 from Manica Province and 7 from Sofala Province; 5 of the trained agro-dealers were women.
Chimoio Joao Tesoura, an agro-dealer trained and promoted by AFAP in Macate village of Manica Province, said, “Farmers in the area can now easily access inputs as well as technical knowledge following an intervention meant to link agro-dealers with inputs suppliers.” Tesoura transitioned from renting a small shop to a signature green building with a fully equipped stockroom from the initial start-up capital facilitated by the TEAMS program. The blissful agro-dealer mentioned that he gets numerous testimonies of increased productivity and excess food availability from farmers buying certified seed varieties and low-cost irrigation technologies. The linkage meetings between agro-dealers and agribusiness companies have built a long-lasting relationship between the two players. Now, Tesoura has a guaranteed supply during high demand for agricultural inputs, helping him sustain his business while also facilitating the lives of the local smallholder farmers.
“Many of the farmers here buy onion, cabbage, carrot, and tomato seed, as well as fertilizers, from trusted brand names like Klein Karoo Seeds, Syngenta, EASI Seeds, Yara Mozambique Ltd., ETC Adubos, SBFO, Mozfert/MozGrain, Bayer Mozambique, and Agrifocus, which they successfully grow and harvest for resale in these local vegetable markets,” said Julia Nasson Carlos, an agro-dealer based in Rutanda village, Manica Province. The certified seed varieties available in her shop have allowed farmers to achieve overwhelming yields despite unpredictable climate and weather changes. Notably, from the high sales of certified seeds, her business and lifestyle are blooming. Satisfied farmers return frequently to buy more with other clients, who are also starting to discover the secret of climate-smart agriculture solutions.
According to Flora Andre Sango, a successful agro-dealer based in Nhamatanda, farmers no longer have to travel far in Sofala Province to access seed while the information on soil fertility, climate change, and fertilizer application also assist in ensuring good growth rates. Sango is very grateful for the capacity-building training in business management for input retail and technical knowledge, input marketing demonstrations, access to finance, and integration into input suppliers’ distribution networks through consignment credit. The capacity building has also made the entrepreneur popular in her village, with a constant flow of customers wishing to buy her products and seeking advice and information on vegetables production and marketing.
In Buzi District, Sofala Province, AFAP collaborates with IFDC through the local agro-dealer Mbeu Yakanaka, owned by Augusto Nhama. Nhama gladly revealed that he could earn as much as 150,000 meticais during Input Trade and Technology Fairs. He said by selling products, such as the MoneyMaker irrigation pump, certified seeds, chemicals, and fertilizers, he can make very good profits. Nhama was one of the agro-dealers trained by AFAP, in partnership with Kickstart International, to use and market the low-cost MoneyMaker irrigation pumps and technologies. He is now a registered agent of the MoneyMaker irrigation pump and innovation widely distributed in Sofala and Manica provinces through other successful agro-dealer operations within the TEAMS program.