Unleashing the potential of smallholder farmers by professionalizing farming
(Washington, DC) September 28, 2016—Members of the Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance (AMEA) gathered in the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) headquarters in Washington, D.C., to discuss how the world’s 500 million smallholder farmers could become part of the solution for agribusiness market inefficiencies.
Working with smallholder farmers holds great potential but is incredibly challenging. Smallholder farmers often lack the technical and business capacity, farm inputs or access to finance that is necessary to produce high-quality agriculture products consistently. And food companies and financial institutions are reluctant to work with smallholder farmers because they have trouble determining whether such farmers would be viable, credit-worthy partners.
AMEA’s Global Standardized Quality System, which aims to build the business management capacity of smallholder farmers in a quantifiable way and link more professional farmers to market opportunities, directly addresses such challenges. Two key building blocks of the quality system are now available to AMEA members and are designed to be used together as part of an integrated package.
To improve capacity among smallholder farmers, AMEA will use training materials developed by IFC for its Agribusiness Leadership Program (ALP), which is a program that provides ways to assess, train and coach smallholder farmers. This 6- to 24-month program aims to strengthen the professionalism and productivity of smallholder farmers and their organizations so that they become more attractive to companies and organizations throughout the supply chain.
To accurately assess smallholder farmers’ capacity and professionalism and encourage agribusinesses, farm input providers and others along the supply chain to work with smallholder farmers, AMEA will be using a set of assessment tools developed by SCOPEinsight. “By being more professional, farmers will be able to increase levels of production, provide a source of livelihood, create jobs and offer an attractive business case for financial institutions, markets and service providers,” says Lucas Simons, Founder and CEO of SCOPEinsight, a founding member of AMEA and the leading provider of assessment and analysis tools that measure farmer professionalism.
Professionalizing farmers may not be a panacea for agribusiness market inefficiencies, but it is certainly a step towards improving the livelihood of the smallholder farmers that can be part of the solution.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly US$19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
SCOPEinsight is the leading provider of assessment and analysis tools that measure the level of professionalism of farmers. SCOPEinsight has the only standardized and scalable approach to measuring and benchmarking how farmers manage their business. Our assessments provide our clients and partners with the business intelligence to create opportunities in agriculture. Since 2010, SCOPEinsight has trained over 160 assessors, has conducted over 1400 assessments in 22 countries spanning 40 agricultural sectors and reaching over 2.1 million farmers worldwide. Our clients include global agri-businesses, NGOs, financial institutions as well as multilateral development and food security organizations. For specific client stories, visit http://www.scopeinsight.com/our-work/
AMEA is a multi-stakeholder platform, bringing together key players in the Agribusiness sector including both private and public organizations. AMEA is introducing a new holistic approach to help professionalize farmers and create opportunities for them in the marketplace. AMEA establishes a globally recognized standard through which actors can access farmer data and connect with the right interventions to increase the success of farmers and their programs. The platform was initiated by SCOPEinsight and counts IFC, ICCO, VECO, NCBA CLUSA, ACDI/VOCA, Argidius, ABN Amro and IDH as founding partners and members.