The Farm to Market Alliance helps smallholder farmers to receive the appropriate information, investment and support from seed to market in order for them to have the capacity to produce and sell marketable surplus for increased incomes.
The Farm to Market Alliance (formerly known as Patient Procurement Platform) is a public-private sector led consortium of organisations seeking to transform food value chains in emerging markets by building a demand-led value-chain based on long-term linkages between suppliers (farmers), buyers and other key market players such as suppliers of finance, inputs and technical expertise. The aim is to actively engage smallholders, increase their productivity, profitability and resilience and their strength as reliable market players. Buyers enter into stable buying relationships with smallholder farmers - typically through contracts extending beyond one season. Smallholders use this stability in demand as collateral to access finance used for seeds, fertilizer and machinery to improve their productivity and incomes. More productive farmers reduce business risk for companies wanting to invest in farming, thus increasing demand for farmers. The more demand the farmers have, the more they can finance productivity improvements - the more productive they are, the more demand increases.
WFP is among eight entities that have committed to participate in the global consortium. The others are: Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); Bayer Crop Science AG; International Finance Corporation; Syngenta Crop Protection AG; Rabobank; Grow Africa; and Yara International ASA. With the Platform’s 2015 launch in Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia, eleven buyers have signed contracts with over 65,000 Platform farmers to purchase 85,000 MT of predominately cow peas, maize, pigeon peas and soya beans. The ultimate aim is to reach 250,000 smallholder farmers with pre-planting procurement contracts signed with large-scale buyers via systematic engagement in markets over three years.
The Alliance has been launched in Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia. The first year results validate the underlying business model of increases in yield and farmer incomes, enabled by access to markets, quality inputs, finance, equipment and knowledge in a structured manner.
A measure of success and potential can be demonstrated by the interest of market actors in the Alliance at the country level. Last season in Tanzania, two national banks, six buyers, three input companies, two NGOs worked along side 53 farmer organizations. This season an additional bank, three buyers, three input companies and an NGO have come on board. 37 new farmer organizations in the southern region alone have joined the Alliance.