All good things come to an end
The approach of 2SCALE is such that we foresee our collaboration with partners to have a beginning, and an end. Steering towards having an “exit strategy” for each partnership is not easy for everybody involved, but important to work on to make for a sustainable approach. A good example of such an exit strategy focused on scaling is in the partnership with food processing firm GUTS Agro, a partnership which will be phased out over the course of December 2017, simply because the partners no longer require external support. GUTS buys maize and soybeans from more than 12,000 farmers belonging to three farmer unions in SNNPR: Sidama Elto, Hunde Chewaka and Anger Abeya.
The exit strategy, designed jointly with GUTS and the unions, aims to ensure that business continues to grow even without external support:
- To reduce storage losses in maize, we introduced PICS bags designed by Purdue University. More than 3,500 bags are in use; another 2,000 have been ordered.
- To increase soybean yields, we helped farmers access seeds and Rhizobium inoculants, and linked 2SCALE clusters with AGRA’s Integrated Seed Sector Development project.
- Trainers and coaches are in place in all clusters in all three unions. The capacity building program concluded in July, with specialized training for 30 soybean extension specialists.
- A Business Model Canvas workshop prepared the stage for the Sidama Elto union to become commercially independent, with adequate capacity and a sound business plan. The same was done for the Hundee Chewaka union, helping them to independently commercialize a soy milk product.