A message from the CEO and President

Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are an important cog in the agribusiness machine. Nurtured through public and private sector partnerships, SME’s help unlock economic value for farmers through agro dealerships.

Under its flagship African Fertilizer Volunteers Program (AFVP), AFAP seeks to mobilize global expertise in support to the development of smallholder farmers and increasing smallholder fertilizer users and usage in Sub Saharan Africa. The AFVP program recognizes the role of SME’s and agro dealers in realizing the goals of fertilizer use and access. Aware of the many challenges faced by smallholder farmers in accessing inputs, including the strategic fertilizers, AFAP is convinced that targeted support to SME’s has never become more pressing than it is now.

The role of the private and public sectors in enhancing small businesses was one of the topics of discussion at the Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference co-hosted with CRU Events in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 10-12 October 2016. The SME’s sector is a leverage for agro dealers to better serve smallholder farmers across the African continent through the provision of inputs, egronomic knowledge and best practices at their farm gate. Besides, the agro dealer network in rural areas is more attuned to farmers’ needs and agro dealers have the advantage of quicker response time right to the grassroots than bigger and more established fertilizer manufacturers and distributors usually based in urban areas.

We profile the experiences of some agro dealers who have benefitted from the capacity building programs availed by AFAP under the AFVP. In addition, we share a selection of stories from discussions at the Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness Conference 2016 held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania which we hope extends the dialogue around fertilizer access in Africa.

As you read, please give us your feedback and enrich our promotion of agribusiness and SME’s development which are important in the quest for a food and nutrition secure Africa.

Jason Scarpone
Chief Executive Officer and President, AFAP

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