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Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) is a consortium of organizations

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Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) is a consortium of organizations

Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) is a consortium of organizations, including World Food Programme (WfP) and Cereal Growers Association (CGA). FtMA currently works in the sorghum, pulses, potato and rice value chains with the aim of transforming them to become commercially viable for all stakeholders along the chain while improving smallholder farmer livelihoods. FtMA forms strategic partnerships with off-takers, aggregators, input companies, training and research organizations, financial institutions and other agro-players to overcome any critical value chain bottlenecks that exist.


FtMA set up a network of Farmer Service Centers (FSCs), which are run by Agribusiness Advisors (AAs) and act as key service hubs to connect private and public sector partners with farmers. The FCSs serve as platforms where different farmers interact with value chain actors to more effectively scale their agribusinesses through better access to markets, affordable financing, inputs, etc. They help bridge the last-mile gap between value chain players and smallholders in a cost-effective and timely manner. It is through these hubs that inputs and outputs are aggregated, technologies transferred and the necessary agricultural know-how shared with smallholders.


FTMA engaged Busara to conduct an evaluation of the Agribusiness Advisors (AAs) programme across 3 regions: Tharaka Nithi, Meru and Nakuru where they have empowered them with interventions and skills to serve farmers in their network better. The engagement had two phases: conducting qualitative research on the AA model, focusing mainly on AAs and farmers to understand the different characteristics and profiles of AAs, the factors that influence a farmer’s choice in purchasing products and services. The first phase also aimed to understand the suitable AA interventions based on the above insights. A total of 52 AAs and 76 farmers were interviewed, concluding which interventions should be tested on each AA based on their interests and farmer needs. This report focuses on the second phase of the engagement.



Research Objectives


The goal of this second phase of engagement involved qualitative research to identify the most successful interventions for AAs to succeed in their work and describe the optimal profiles of AAs and propose interventions for the profiles. The research also focused on the interactions of AAs with service providers, more specifically input providers and farmers and their perceptions and willingness to work with AAs. The approach used by Busara to achieve these objectives is outlined in the methodology section.

The structure of the report outlines the research methodology, including sampling, research strategy and limitations followed by the thematic learnings from the research study, conclusions from the study and some proposed recommendations for FtMA to consider in the future.

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