Strike a happy medium
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CTA. 2002. Strike a happy medium. Spore 98. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47507
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore98.pdf
When you re a smallholder farmer, it is not always easy to get your inputs since many traders only sell in bulk, charge extra for small quantities or only sell in towns and cities. Being an independent and a small rural business, making contact...
When you re a smallholder farmer, it is not always easy to get your inputs since many traders only sell in bulk, charge extra for small quantities or only sell in towns and cities. Being an independent and a small rural business, making contact with giant agriculture suppliers can be equally difficult. To improve this situation, Care Zambia launched the Rural Enterprise and Agri-business Promotion (REAP) programme in 1999. Its aim is to support local business people to supply farmers in remote rural areas with necessary inputs while reducing real and opportunity costs. It also provides farmers a channel to sell the farm outputs to urban based buyers, through the same local traders. REAP thus wants to create networks of community based agri-traders and provide a channel for dissemination of market information to smallholder farmers. The programme involves not only loans to start-up small businesses, organising transport and building up stocks of inputs, but it also includes a training programme. This covers financial management, book keeping, accounting, stock taking and doing deals with companies as their supplier and their retail outlet. The input stocks, which are allowed to be built up to a certain level, serve as collateral for the loans. So far, REAP has trained 27 agents, who serve approximately 5,400 rural families, with inputs from 8 agri-suppliers. A general lesson from the programme is that these services, which were often provided by now-defunct marketing boards, sometimes need a good push to get off the ground, and cannot always be expected to take shape spontaneously. CARE-Zambia, P O Box 36238, Lusaka, Zambia Fax: +260 1 26 50 60 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.carezambia.org