Africa is recognized as the future breadbasket of the world, but the continent’s annual import bill is estimated to rise from US$35 billion to US$100 billion by 2030. Farm to Market Alliance’s mission is to create a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector that empowers farmers, forges strong markets and improves global food security.
Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) is a public-private sector consortium of six agri-focused organizations formed to make markets work better for farmers. FtMA’s demand-led holistic value chain solution "PATH" supports African farming families to transition to commercial agriculture by addressing the major challenges that smallholder farmers face. FtMA empowers smallholders to become reliable market players through access to four integrated pathways termed PATH: (P)redictable markets, (A)ffordable finance, (T)echnologies and quality inputs, and (H)andling and storage solutions.
Through PATH, FtMA structures market engagement, training, expertise, products and services. Stakeholder involvement is based on long-term linkages between farmers, market off-takers and other key market players such as crop aggregators, input and equipment suppliers, logistics and mechanization service providers to financial institutions, insurance providers and fintech companies.
Forward delivery contracts between farmers and buyers specify minimum sales volumes in advance to allow smallholder families to plan beyond the farm gate. These forward contracts with national and regional buyers have assisted many farmers in securing loans and crop loss insurance for the first time.
This model ensures that they can confidently plan, grow, store and sell their crops and maximize productivity, profitability and resilience over the long term. Importantly, it also builds the confidence of agri-market players in doing business with smallholders.
WFP is among the six members that have committed to participate in the global consortium. The others include: Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); Bayer Crop Science AG; Syngenta Crop Protection AG; Rabobank; and Yara International ASA. Each of them brings specifically targeted expertise, industry experience and the asset base necessary for working at scale in developing countries.
FtMA establishes and leverages Farmer Service Centers (FSCs) to provide its services. FSCs bridge the gap between purchasers, other agri-players and smallholder farmers to supportproﬁtable businesses and achieve commercial viability within the value chains. The stronger and more stable they are, the more viable the whole chain.
FSCs also provide a centralized facility to aggregate input buying (which includes, access to ﬁnance, mechanization, extension services etc.) and productive output sales.
FSCs solve the last mile delivery issues and help to transform smallholder farmers into proﬁtable and productive businesses.