Farm Shop is looking at duplicating the rural agro-dealer agency project started in Makoni district under the LFSP, where it is managing to revitalise the agro-dealer model by establishing a network of rural agro-dealer agents who they contract and provide stock on consignment covering a wide range of agricultural inputs for both crop and livestock production. Through this Farm Shop Agency Network, participating retailers will enjoy the benefits that come along with selling inputs, including training on podcasts, branding and marketing.

Working with Hurudza, Farm Shop is replicating ‘Agrilife’ a cloud-based platform which manages Point of Sale (POS) and bulk SMS components to monitor stocks and generate credit history for agro-dealers and farmers, based on the transactions they make.

This project will be replicated in Gokwe South to widen reach and accelerate the lessons learnt and successes of the initial phase in Makoni district. This replication will however have extras that will be rolled out simultaneously in both districts, namely tillage services, irrigation technologies and market information.

Weathersfield has introduced mung bean as a drought resistant cash crop in Gokwe South, Guruve and Mount Darwin and is targeting 6300 farmers  who will benefit from participating in this value chain by 2017. Mung bean is drought resistant, requires low inputs and is a valuable option for crop rotation. Farmers will be engaged in contract farming to control side marketing, through binding contracts. Weathersfield intends to link farmers to international markets and ensure they receive competitive prices for their bean produce.

For further information, contact Daniel Matimba, Palladium’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Knowledge Management Manager, +263 4 290 6821 or daniel.matimba@thepalladiumgroup.com