Agribusiness Facility for Africa: promoting investments of small rural entrepreneurs
Title: Broad-based promotion of investments of rural MSMEs Agribusiness Facility for Africa (ABF/KKMUs); Part of the Agricultural Value Chains for Sustainable Development (A4SD) umbrella programme in Africa
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2020 to 2023
Millions of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in rural areas dominate African agriculture. In order to unfold their potential as suppliers, investors and employers, and to manage risks, they need entrepreneurial knowledge and skills. However, inclusive and affordable advisory services and training courses on business management and business models for farmers and other micro or small rural entrepreneurs are rare.
The predecessor project, Sustainable Smallholder Agribusiness in Western and Central Africa (SSAB), developed amongst others the Farmer Business School (FBS) with public and private partners and began to successfully address the inadequacies mentioned above.
The broad impact of private and public agribusiness support measures and supporting organisations for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa has improved.
The Agribusiness Facility (ABF) advises inquiring organisations, development programmes and networks on customising successful agribusiness trainings in Africa and on large-scale implementation. This includes FBS, the Cooperative Business School (CBS) and the Processor Business School (PBS).
ABF supports selected agricultural schools and training centres to qualify students and young professionals as multipliers of these and other tried-and-tested approaches. In addition, emphasis is made on on business models for self-financing of trainings.
In addition, the project develops innovative training courses, networks, digital courses, media and smartphone apps on demand. It also supports projects in the economic analysis of production branches, technologies and investments.
ABF cooperates with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) to promote sustainable economic growth and employment in African agriculture.
The predecessor project supported 480,000 cocoa producers: 74 per cent plan their production and draw up profit/loss accounts. They invest in good agricultural practices and inputs. They have diversified their production and income: their real income increased by an average of EUR 314 in 2017 despite low cocoa prices. In total, this represents an increase in real income of more than EUR 100 million in one year. Eighty-five per cent of the smalholders also use this income to improve family nutrition. In addition, 50 per cent have opened savings accounts.
Since 2012, therefore, 24 development programmes, four national organisations and seven companies have adapted FBS with support to 34 value chains. Up to mid-2020, more than 1.4 million small farmers have been trained in FBS, more than 600 cooperatives in CBS and more than 55,000 processors in PBS. The proportion of women trained amounts to 33 per cent, 20 per cent and 90 per cent respectively. In the beginning, the project took on 20 advisory processes from SSAB. It now supports more than 40 implementation and innovation processes on 25 value chains in 20 African countries. Alongside FBS, there is an increasing demand for CBS, PBS, digital approaches and media.