Despite the setbacks of three destructive cyclones in the regions of BAGC operations plus the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic – the programme has been able to record some striking results that have had positive impacts on both farmers and their families as well as for our commercial partners, Yara, Bayer and K2 Seeds.
Productivity and financial viability
Emerging results of the Inputs Partnership show that productivity in plots with full Partnership inputs support is 40-50% higher than those managed by associations using few or no inputs. Good Agronomic practices, quality seed, timely application of fertilizer and effective control of pests and diseases are key to increased production and productivity.
Early results also show that all crops under production within the programme have positive gross margins. Returns per dollar invested are higher for green mealies, tomato and cabbages. Returns on both sugar beans and green beans are low although green beans show relatively better results, making it a potential alternative where higher yields may be obtained.
An analysis of yield levels shows that farmers supported under the Inputs Partnership in the Vanduzi and Sussundenga blocks are achieving higher yield levels than before especially for cabbages and potatoes. The Sussundenga block with good agronomic conditions plus partnership support (inputs and GAP training) has also seen a boost in production of tomatoes, beans and garlic mainly through increased yields.
At least four larger offtakers have shown interest and could absorb most of the horticultural production from the schemes, since the demand outpaces current production. The four offtakers buy around 390 mts of fresh vegetables per month from the market.
BAGC has also identified an array of small to medium sized traders operating from main consumption centres that are interested in securing supplies from the supported irrigation schemes on a regular basis. Currently ten informal agricultural commodities buyers have been identified of which six are from Katanga, three from Markets in Chimoio City, and one from Guro District North of Manica Province.
Recent discussions with Freshmark/Shoprite have been encouraging and more specific details on volumes, types and delivery details are now in place. Quantities are still small, however BAGC is following up on this and supporting specific farmers to develop a production and harvesting scheme that is reliable and meets the needs of Shoprite.
Access to finance
BAGC sees securing financial services for farmers and other agribusiness operators as a key aspect of its work. Two key developments in this area include:
- An MOU with the IFAD funded Rural Enterprise Finance Project under which it will facilitate access by rural business operators to financial products by developing business plans for financing.
- An MOU with the World Bank’s Smallholder Irrigated Agriculture and Market Access Project- IRRIGA 1. The project has a number of financing instruments that are targeting the irrigation schemes. Grants can be made available to farmers for items such as small storage and primary packing sheds. There is also an eVoucher system being put in place for farmers to purchase inputs from agrodealers.
AFAP has developed and introduced an inputs startup kit facility for selected agro-dealers under the Inputs Partnership. This is matched with the provision of inputs on revolving credit consignment by Yara, Bayer and K2Seeds. To date the total volume of seeds supplied under the programme is about 6 mt however seed supplied on credit consignment has almost doubled. Similarly, Yara fertilizer supplied under consignment credit has nearly quadrupled with Yara increasing the revolving credit limit for each agrodealer selected for the programme. A particular agrodealer within the programme has seen their credit limit increased to $50,000.