The Farm to Market Alliance is a unique alliance of six organizations, collaborating to develop a sustainable and profitable agricultural sector in Africa. It does so by addressing the major challenges smallholder farmers face, supporting their transition to commercial agriculture. Under WFP as a member of FTMA, MkulimaHub in consortium with Briten is working together to digitalization of 40 Farmers Service Centers (FSCs) in 3 Regions, Rukwa,Katavi and Njombe.
In the past few years, we have spent time in developing Farmer Service Centres (FSCs) in the Southern Highlands region specifically Rukwa, Katavi & Songwe with the main aim of establishing strong linkages to reliable and open markets and create a new market pull – driving future small-scale farmers’ development. Currently, there is a total number of 146 established FCSc with each attending at least 500 farmers in their respective FOs thus creating new possibilities for innovation and modernization throughout the value chain. The FSCs are key drivers in engaging directly the private sector to better support smallholder farmers’ access to market linkages, inputs, finance and improved technologies. This model is based on a fundamental premise that a market-driven approach coupled with bulking of produce and input requests are needed to help smallholder farmers sustainably increase their income and improve their livelihood.
This is operationalized through the central role that Briten Tanzania play in aggregating farmers into membership-based organizations and through the innovative use of “MkulimaHub” a digital platform that enable smallholders to benefit from accessing modern climate-smart agronomic education and support; access to mechanisation services; linkage to financial institutions, and linkage to profitable and stable markets within and beyond Tanzania. What is new in the approach is the fact that this project concept combines elements on existing business models for smallholder development (stocking, warehouse receipts systems, bulking of produce and input requests) with new elements such as the use of digital platform cum access to credit based on individual profiling of farmers.