Fostering Entrepreneurship Through Investment and Training
Delivering agricultural technologies and services to smallholders through a network of entrepreneurs has the dual benefit of creating jobs and improving access for farmers, stimulating a cycle of economic growth. Women in particular are drivers of community change and often an untapped resource in many rural areas; by tailoring programs to meet women’s unique needs and skills, we can empower a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation works with the private sector to develop new agribusiness networks by investing in small and medium enterprises looking to scale their technology or model to reach smallholder farmers in underserved areas. Our work with a commercial agribusiness in Mozambique is a prime example of how training a small number of dedicated entrepreneurs can impact entire communities.
Despite high agro-ecological potential and fertile soil, farmers in northern and central Mozambique lack access to the inputs and services they need to produce at full capacity. Wanting to capitalize on this opportunity, Tecnologia E Consultoria Agro-Pecuaria (TECAP) secured support from Partnering for Innovation to establish a network of agrodealers and farm business advisors to serve communities in Tete, Manica and Zambezia provinces.
In partnership with the Association of Mozambican Women in Agribusiness, TECAP trained 150 women at farmers' schools in business basics, such as bookkeeping and inventory management, and agronomy practices, including planting and mechanization. The trainings were also delivered to a nationwide audience using television, radio and social media platforms. To date, 23 farmer empowerment centers have been created, from which women can source the materials and technical expertise from TECAP to open their own businesses to sell improved seeds and other inputs to rural farmers.
Through its partnership with Partnering for Innovation, TECAP reached 46,000 farmers with improved inputs and access to mechanization services and generated $3.2 million in sales. Additionally, 50 agrodealers, 20 franchisees and 250 extension agents received support in business management to boost their capacity and ensure long-term commercial sustainability.
As distributors, suppliers and generators of economic growth, entrepreneurs are often the lynchpin in reaching underserved consumers such as rural farmers. These smallholders depend on entrepreneurs to deliver value-added technologies and services, while businesses depend on these same entrepreneurs to sell inputs and services that expand their company’s reach. As a result of these successful partnerships, jobs are created, livelihoods are improved and entrepreneurship is fostered.