FtMA has adopted a demand-led approach that puts empowerment of farmers at the heart of its work. This is achieved by building a network of self-sustaining Farmer Service Centre’s that provide a variety of services to enhance farmers productivity, increase market linkages and encourage farm digitization. All with the overall objective of increasing farmers productivity and income.
It also increases private sector investment and involvement in the smallholder food sector because it builds the confidence of players in agricultural markets in doing business with smallholder farmers
Farmer Service Centers (FSC’s) have become a critical coordination platform.
The 4 pillar approach is our consolidation of strategy & activities. It provides a realignment of our activities and operating model that provides the teams with the guidance needed to ensure implementation of FtMA’s program is aligned with our stated objectives and mission.
The guiding principles of the Pillars are:
FtMA invests in a network of FSCs – which act as trusted links to farming communities – to improve access to information, quality inputs, affordable financing, a range of important services, handling and storage solutions and market connections.
FSCs differ in character and can be rural entrepreneurs, aggregators, farmer groups or cooperatives. Some conduct business out of physical shops and others act more as mobile agents reaching farmers within their rural areas. No matter how they are set up, they all act as key service hubs connecting private and public partners to SHFs and serve an average 200 farmers per hub. The FSCs benefit by gaining income through direct sales and/or commissions from the linkages they create.
FSCs can mobilize farmers and enable SHFs to receive last and first-mile delivery of interventions in a timely and affordable manner due to their location in relation to their farmer network and organizing bulk purchases/scheduling with private sector partners.
FtMA has been operating primarily in six value crop chains (maize, beans, soya, sorghum, rice and potatoes), and recognises the importance of crop diversification to not only improve nutrition but also to ensure the crops being planted suit the climatic conditions of a particular area.
The FSCs are used: