IDH Farmfit Forum: Impactful, viable service provision to smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa

On November 18th and 19th in Nairobi, the IDH Farmfit Forum brought together 150 participants from SMEs, multinationals, financial institutions and donors, to exchange knowledge and experiences around developing commercially viable, impactful service delivery to smallholders.

The majority of participants represented companies across Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and others), often working with several thousands of smallholder farmers.

Through panel discussions and interactive sessions, companies active in different crops and countries realized that they often face the same issues, and therefore stand to benefit a lot from exchanging best practices and also failures.

In addition to the consensus around the much-needed finance for smallholder agriculture, companies present agreed that the biggest game changer for them would be quality data and insights into working business models. Also for the investors present, be it donors or financial institutions, the conclusion was that more data and insights are needed to better understand smallholder farmers, the businesses serving them and ultimately the (economic) sustainability of their business models.

As participants worked together in groups, we came to the joint realization that grants or even commercial loans to individual companies will not single handedly lead to market transformation.  However, by pooling knowledge, data, and experiences we can jointly innovate how smallholders are embedded in agricultural supply chains.

IDH Farmfit is commited to be the go to provider of quality data and insights that the smallholder agri-sector sorely needs. By working together, we can improve the lives of millions of smallholders in Sub-Saharan Africa and across the world. IDH Farmfit helps to accelerate this transformation by providing data and insights, for businesses that create value for smallholders, their shareholders, and society as a whole.

Read our latest insights on how to viably and impactfully serve smallholders in the Insights Brief launched at the event. And stay tuned for the full version of the report, which will follow early next year.

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