Two farmer unions, Sidama Elto in the SNNP region and Anger Abaya in Oromia in Ethiopia, have become major players on the maize market, thanks to technical and marketing support from 2SCALE. The unions aggregate maize from 21,000 smallholder farmers. In 2016, they provided partner firm GUTS Agro with its entire requirements of maize. Both unions are now regular suppliers to GUTS Agro and the World Food Program.
2SCALE teams worked with the unions and their constituent primary cooperatives to introduce new production technologies, increase yields and quality, prove farm inputs and strengthen aggregation. 588 smallholder farmers have been trained on maize agronomy, and another 500 farmers on post-harvest handling and aflatoxin mitigation measures. 25 demonstration plots were set up to showcase best practices; field days at these sites attracted 956 farmers and supply chain actors. 29 primary cooperatives have introduced new storage methods. Five warehouses have been built, with farmers providing land, labor and construction materials. Each warehouse has a capacity of with 500-700 tons.
Change has been driven by the primary cooperatives: 29 cooperatives have introduced new storage methods, 11 cooperatives use quality control measures such as moisture meters, 18 primary cooperatives now supply seeds, fertilizers and other inputs to their members. 18 primary cooperatives now supply seeds, fertilizers and other inputs to their members. Leaders of 18 primary cooperatives are participating in a training program to improve management skills.