On request of network members, AgriProFocus organised a small-scale expert meeting on November 8th at RVO. The meet-up focussed on mutual learning and jointly looking for solutions for critical issues and challenges from practice that network members experience with the implementation of large-scale, inclusive agribusiness programmes. Two programmes with specific challenges and questions were presented by members.
1. Brokering successful 4P partnerships
By Nico Janssen, SNV netherlands development organisation
In this programme, funded by IFAD, SNV and consortium partners develop best practises on establishing Public - Private - Producer partnerships through Provision of brokering services. See the following link for the introduction and more information http://www.snv.org/project/partnering-value-4p.
Finding new ways to finance middle size, emerging (and growing) local agribusinesses with a capital requirement of less then 1M USD as:
+ Finance sector is little interested in this deal size and sector perceived as too high risk transaction costs too high.
+ Donor sector is little interested to fund SME’s, they do not want to subsidize private sector, they should help themselves.
2 Toward Sustainable Clusters in Agribusiness through Learning in Entrepreneurship
By Addis Teshome, 2Scale Ethiopia
The Dutch-funded 2SCALE programme is implemented in nine African countries by BoPInc, IFDC and ICRA between 2012 and 2017. The program manages a portfolio of public-private partnerships that accelerate inclusive business in target agri-food sectors and industries. 2SCALE offers a range of support services to private partners - companies and farmer groups - enabling them to produce, transform and supply quality food products to local, national and regional end-user markets, including Base of the Pyramid (low-income) consumers. See also: http://2scale.org.
It has been our experience within the 2SCALE programme that it is challenging to develop a business model with a company (any type) with a clear inclusive business agenda to invest in the lower segment of the value chain and at the same time having the ambition to tailor products to the BoP Market. We have approached quite a number of companies across the nine countries but it was with a limited number of partnership that we have a good level of success.
Participants brainstormed in groups about possible solutions for these issues and presented them to the group and issue-owner.
There is generally high interest in finding solutions for funding of middle size SMEs, emerging (and growing) local agribusinesses with a capital requirement of less then 1M USD. Especially when these SMEs also aim to make business sense from developing a sustainable, inclusive business model that includes investment in the lower segment of the value chain and at the same time having the ambition to tailor products to the BoP Market.
Members and partners expressed their interest during the expert meeting to continue reflections to jointly find creative and innovative solutions. AgriProFocus has taken various initiatives in the area of access to finance and most recently initiated a study, in close collaboration with ICCO Cooperation and Rabobank Foundation: Inventory of demand, needs, supply and best practices of critical capital for SME’s in African Agri-Food. The study focussed on Mali, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya and will be presented at the FoodFirst Conference on February 9 at Rabobank in Utrecht.
To members and partners to continue reflections in 2018 when you believe that linking, learning and taking leadership on this particular issue will help improve your own work and may trigger your interest to collaborate with partners in the future.
AgriProFocus can facilitate, co-organize, mobilize relevant members and partners and make sure meetings and events are interesting, fun, innovative and of added value to your work.