Tanzania Agrodealer Strengthening Programme
Launched in 2007, the Tanzania Agrodealer Strengthening Programme (TASP), funded by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, has been highly successful in building and supporting a vibrant agrodealer network capable of serving smallholder farmer demands for improved inputs, services and marketing. Like CNFA’s other agrodealer development programmes, TASP focused on business and technical training as well as capacity building. In addition, programming focused on facilitating access to financial services, output marketing, processing, value adding services, and policy advocacy through association development.
TASP also designed and supported the Tanzanian government’s targeted subsidy programme to link agrodealers to the local seed industry, and has been scaled up to foster the development of a nationwide rural market network. In 2010, TASP expanded into new districts, allowing CNFA to improve productivity and incomes for additional farm households in remote and underserved areas. Since 2007, TASP has certified over 2,600 agrodealers, who are providing products and services to over 1.5 million smallholder farmers and improving the lives of nearly 8 million people.
- Built agrodealer capacity to better serve farmers through our proven six-part technical training covering: managing working capital, managing stocks, selling and marketing, basic record keeping, costing and pricing, and managing business relationships;
- Facilitated demand creation by establishing demonstration plots and farmer field days showcasing new agricultural inputs;
- Promoted improved linkage to financial services for agrodealers through forums and clinics focusing on licensing, completion of a business plan, and access to capital.
Seed Industry & Smart Input Subsidy Distribution: At the programme’s outset, CNFA focused on the five Southern Highlands districts targeted by the Government of Tanzania (GoT) for its smart, targeted subsidy programme (Fast Track Districts) and five districts in the Arusha, Meru and Kilimanjaro regions in Northern Tanzania. In Year 2, TASP had expanded into the seven other districts in Manyara and Morogoro regions. Around Arusha, CNFA integrated agrodealer development efforts with initiatives to improve Tanzania’s local seed industry, including foundation seed enterprises and local seed companies. Early activities focused on the design of a smart input subsidy programme, for implementing government subsidies to targeted communities in a sustainable manner, and on developing the network of agrodealers necessary to implement this subsidy programme.
Association Development: CNFA supported seven district associations that are fully registered and ten that were in nascent stages of development. One of the associations supported by CNFA was the Songea Agrodealer Association (SADA). SADA is a powerful example of the benefits that a well-run association can accrue to its members and the influence that can be exerted, for example:
- SADA used its strong voice to successfully advocate against the practice of Regional and District officials dictating prices at which inputs could be sold;
- SADA also proposed the “master input subsidy” concept that CNFA later brought to the MAFC; the master input subsidy would be issued by district officials on presentation of numerous input subsidies by the agrodealer.
- Where individual group members (particularly startup agrodealers) experienced difficulty in securing input supply credit, SADA managed to successfully negotiate for credit as an association;
- SADA leased an office in Songea Town and hired a coordinator to administer their activities.
Strengthening the Agrodealer Network: In addition, TASP achieved a great deal of success in the areas of its core components aimed at strengthening the agrodealer network. Notable among these efforts are encouraging the establishment of new agrodealerships in remote, underserved areas through matching grants, a credit guarantee facility and demand creation activities that give the farmer an opportunity to physically witness the benefits of improved agronomic practices and inputs. In addition, technical trainings to strengthen agrodealer capacity, agrodealer association development and linking agrodealers to financial institutions were a key part of the approach.
The Business Management Training (BMT) offered raised agrodealers’ business standards of management and acumen to the point where the MAFC decided to exclusively link the handling of the subsidy inputs to agrodealers’ successful completion of BMT. In response, CNFA has trained an additional 849 agrodealers in 24 districts beyond the 17 in the original TASP scope to pave the way for the National Agricultural Inputs Voucher Scheme.
By operating in the space where the interests of farmers, agrodealers, the private sector and the financial sector intersect, TASP gained exciting new ground in increasing crop yields and incomes for farmers and improving the livelihoods and economic opportunities for Tanzanians.
- 1,500,000+ Farmers with improved access to inputs;
- 89,887 farmers and agrodealers attending demand creation activities and technical trainings offered by agribusiness companies;
- 2,600+ Agrodealers trained and certified;
- 214,867 Metric tons of inputs sold through TASP agrodealers;
- $3,027,870 in direct trade credit leveraged by agrodealers over the life of the project.