Alpha Agrovet and Agrochemical Ltd: From a Market-Day Hawker to an Input-Output Company

30 Oct 2023

Alpha Paul Mgimba is a Hub Agro-dealer based in the Iringa region. Alpha began selling agricultural input as a Hawker in market days and in 2005, he established his first agricultural input outlet with a startup capital of TZS 3.6 million. Subsequently, he expanded to a second branch in 2008 and a third branch in 2022. Impressively, Alpha’s capital grew significantly to TZS 6 billion in 2023.

Alpha Agrovet and Agrochemical Ltd, in addition to selling agricultural inputs, expanded into animal feed processing in 2018, with further expansion in 2022. The move was driven by a desire to create a market for smallholder farmers purchasing agricultural inputs from Alpha. The expanded feed processing plant enables Alpha to double the purchase of output to support and expand his farmer network while simultaneously creating new markets.

Alpha’s journey with AFAP began in 2013 when he received support for constructing a warehouse, enhancing his fertilizer storage capacity and receiving business management training. This warehouse facilitated contracts with major suppliers like Yara Tanzania, allowing Alpha to expand his stock of fertilizers and other inputs. The improved facilities positioned Alpha as a distributor, and in 2019, under a trade credit guarantee, he successfully secured credit to purchase fertilizers from OCP and Yara Tanzania, significantly increasing his stock levels.

Alpha supports smallholder farmers through various interventions:

-Providing zero-interest credit to farmer groups, repayable during harvest.

-Conducting farmer training sessions via local FM radios.

-Purchasing agricultural products like Maize, Sunflower, Soya, and Rice.

In the marketing strategy for September 2023 to September 2024, Alpha aims to sell agricultural inputs through VBAs, retail agro-dealers, mobile sales, and outlets in Samora, Ilula, and Kitwiru. Additionally, Alpha plans to target large farmers and participate in government subsidy programs. Business advertisements will be conducted through media, demonstration plots, leaflets, sports events, and engagement with government institutions like prisons. Alpha also intends to establish sales points in areas without agents, particularly for the animal feed business.