January Ag Sector Council Seminar: Private Sector Input Supply Systems
The January Ag Sector Council seminar, “Developing Private Sector Input Supply Systems,” featured presentations by Douglas T. Nelson of Croplife America, Patrick Norrell of CNFA, and Dinnah Kapiza of Tisaiwale Trading. The seminar focused on one of the most difficult challenges for smallholder farmers: finding a reliable source of high quality agricultural inputs, such as seed, fertilizer, farm equipment, veterinary supplies and services, and sustainable extension services.
To watch the full recording of the seminar please visit the event page.
Douglas T. Nelson began the seminar by making the case for bringing the green revolution to the developing world. He discussed the intricacies of patent law as it relates to agricultural inputs, and closed his talk by outlining some of the specific benefits of herbicides, fertilizer and hybrid seeds.
We were very excited to welcome Dinnah Kapiza as a remote speaker, who called in to the seminar from Malawi and gave her first-hand experience as an agro-dealer providing inputs and technical information to rural small-scale farmers. Many farmers are not able to travel long distances to urban centers to purchase small amounts of seeds and herbicide, so the agro-dealers are a vital link for rural farmers to these types of inputs.
Patrick Norrell discussed the retail distribution network between the global input supply manufacturers like the ones represented by Mr. Nelson, and the agro-dealers like Ms. Kapiza. The goal of CNFA's input supply and farm services efforts are "to increase small holder productivity and incomes, but also to demonstrate that it can be a profitable and sustainable business to service small holders." Mr. Norrell discussed three different approaches to small holder supply that CNFA is using in Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, and Africa.