Profitable farming for smallholder farmers requires access to affordable fertilizers and other agro-inputs. Many farmers in developing countries struggle to access these inputs at the right time, in the right quantity and quality, and at the right price. Many also often lack access to credit.
IFDC has developed a holistic approach to market development, which is based on five pillars: policy, human capital, finance, market information systems and regulatory mechanisms. Deficiencies in any pillar can cause poor input sector performance.
IFDC focuses on developing output markets (options to sell their surplus produce), which provide the “pull” for input market development. IFDC helps farmers identify and access profitable markets, usually through public-private partnerships, agribusiness clusters and farmer-based organizations (also known as producer organizations), with a focus on information management and by working with all participants in the agricultural value chain.
Focusing on Commercial
IFDC also helps farmers, agro-dealers and their organizations develop the skills needed to manage their farms and businesses as commercial enterprises. This allows farmers to participate more in commercial food production, both to meet their families’ food needs and to increase incomes through the sale of surplus produce.
Agro-dealers are trained to introduce new technologies and to teach their farmer-customers how to correctly use inputs.
CASE and Market
The Competitive Agricultural Systems and Enterprises (CASE) solution is used to give smallholder farmers the knowledge and tools they need to increase the amount and quality of their crops and then to link them to profitable markets so that they can sell their surplus produce.
With CASE, farmers are integrated into value chains organized around specific crops or commodities. In these commodity value chains, IFDC not only helps strengthen and professionalize smallholder farmers but supports growth in the agro-input, processing and marketing industries that facilitate agribusiness expansion.
2SCALE and Market
The 2SCALE project is expanding the CASE solution to market development across Africa by developing a portfolio of 500 robust and viable agribusiness clusters and value chains targeting international, regional, national and local markets, including commodity and food product markets for base-of-the-pyramid consumers.