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Soy, chickens and more

2SCALE’s soybean work in Mozambique goes beyond technologies and markets. Our goal is to build a partnership that creates opportunities all along the value chain. This partnership began with one cluster in Malema district, Nampula province. Today it involves 10,000 farmers (6,500 women) in Nampula and Zambezia.

The lead partner is Agro Commercial Olinda Fondo (ACOF), a woman-headed firm that aggregates soybeans from smallholder farmers for processing and resale. 2SCALE teams work with ACOF to mobilize farmer groups and train farmers, agrodealers and extension staff on crop management and quality control.

Three other partners help ensure that farmers have seeds, fertilizers and other inputs. The NGO Agrimerc built a network of agrodealers who work collectively to organize logistics. Fertilizer company Omnia analyzed more than 800 soil samples from farmers’ fields, and is using the data to develop new fertilizer blends containing essential secondary and micro-nutrients in addition to the regular NPK. Greenbelt Fertilizers leads a training program to promote the use of fertilizers and Rhizobium biostimulants that enhance the plant’s ability to ‘fix’ atmospheric nitrogen, essentially producing its own fertilizer.

Ongoing training programs have built farmer capacity in production methods and post-harvest handling. More than 1,000 farmers and agrodealers have been trained on fertilizer and Rhizobium use. The next round of training, beginning in early 2017, will focus on business models, planning and budgeting. The production base has been stabilized. ACOF provides farmers with inputs, enabling them to plant on time and manage their crops well. Harvests are consistent in terms of both volume and quality.

And markets? 2SCALE signed an agreement with Novos Horizontes, a poultry company based in Rapale, Nampula province; brokered a contract under which ACOF will supply Novos Horizontes with 500 tons of soya per season; and helped Novos Horizontes develop feed formulations enriched with soya. We also led a market research program, interviewing more than 40 retailers and wholesalers. The findings were used to develop a marketing and distribution strategy to sell frozen chicken cuts to low-income consumers. The branding will include packaging and labelling, attractive shop displays and eye-catching uniforms.

With markets assured, partners on board and farmers already having tasted profits, expect the soybean industry to grow rapidly in 2017.

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