A seed-multiplication business grows into a successful hub-agrodealer and commodity trader.
During Mozambique’s civil war, Mr. Peter Waziweyi moved his family to Zimbabwe, where they lived and worked for many years. But he always wanted to return home, so when the war ended he did just that. The family acquired land in Báruè District, and started a seed-multiplication business that serviced the local seed companies.
After five years, in 2009, they registered Sementes Nzara Yapera Lda. Sementes is the Portuguese word for seed, and nzara yapera means “hunger is ending” in one of the local dialects.
They sold a portion of their seed at their own small retail shop. Then, in 2011, the business acquired a seed-processing unit and established a seed out-grower scheme comprising 250 smallholder seed growers. The quality of the seeds supplied by the smallholders was poor, however, because they were not applying fertilizer.
The entrepreneurial Waziweyi family saw an opportunity and decided to start distributing fertilizer to the smallholder farmers. In March 2013 AFAP held a meeting with the company to explore opportunities for fertilizer distribution.
“After my first meeting with the AFAP Country Director it became clear to me that we needed to supply farmers with inputs packages and not just seeds. I also realized that we could maximize our sales by combining the production and supply of seeds with the supply of fertilizer,” says Mr. Waziweyi.
During the 2013/14-crop season AFAP provided a credit guarantee facility that allowed Mozambique Fertilizer Company (Mozfert) to sell fertilizer to Mr. Waziweyi on credit terms with a repayment period of up to 30 days per consignment. Mr. Waziweyi sold 530 tons of fertilizer to about 21,200 smallholder farmers during the first season under the facility. The following season, his company sold 1,379 tons of balanced fertilizer blends for maize and beans, and reached 55,160 smallholders through a network of 38 rural-agrodealers. One of the challenges Mr. Waziweyi faced was lack of storage to stock fertilizer in bulk. This is where AFAP came in to help by providing 50% of the funds to build a fertilizer storage facility that could hold up to 1,000 tons at any given time. The cost of the warehouse was $23,034. The warehouse is now used to stock fertilizer at the beginning of the season and a aggregation point for farmers’ outputs at the end of the season.
Nzara Yapera has also become an output trader and aggregator of farmers ‘outputs. He uses his retail network to buy farmers’ surpluses and sell them onto commodity traders and millers for maize. The company has signed a contract to supply maize to Empresa de Comercialização Agrícola (ECA), a milling company.
“AFAP has supported us in many ways. They have helped to link Nzara Yapera to fertilizer companies and provided us with guarantees to get fertilizer on credit, as well as supporting the construction of a fertilizer and seed warehouse,” says Mr. Waziweyi.
“AFAP’s approach is straightforward and good: do it by yourself and we will assist you in different ways, as long as your business shows sustainability and you are willing to provide additional benefits for smallholder farmers.”