A Robust Business Responding to Climate Shocks in Mozambique

July 1, 2019


TECAP agrodealer selling seeds
TECAP relies on trained agrodealers to sell improved seeds in rural markets. Photo by Fintrac.

This is the third blog of our series on building private sector resilience. The previous blog, The Role of Acceleration Services in Pay for Results Programs focuses on three key areas to businesses that contribute to the achievement of commercial and development results – trust, agility, and incentives. This blog series is also published on Agrilinks.

Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation builds agribusiness’ capacity in myriad ways – from organizational strengthening to business plan design to investor relations – all with the aim of improving their ability to respond to the specific needs of smallholder farmers. Our approach pairs investments in new technologies with targeted services that help agribusinesses accelerate their growth so they can quickly and successfully enter new markets, increase profits, and expand their customer bases.

To prepare for unpredictable market or environmental shocks, Partnering for Innovation helps businesses identify target markets, adapt their approach, and tailor their marketing and distribution strategies using data from customer surveys to match on-the-ground realities.

This adaptability is particularly important when serving smallholders during times of crisis such as the recent cyclones in Mozambique, where local agrodealer Tecnologia e Consultoria Agro-Pecuária (TECAP) is able to distribute much-needed seed thanks to business training they received through a partnership with Partnering for Innovation.

During this partnership, TECAP shifted its business model to better reach smallholder clients by establishing regional hubs and training rural agrodealers on how to sell inputs and services. After two years, TECAP had reached 46,000 smallholder farmers and sold $3 million worth of seed, fertilizers, and mechanization services.

In the wake of the cyclones, which destroyed 1.2 million acres of staple crops and damaged critical seed supplies, TECAP is one of few local companies with the capacity to find, distribute, and sell improved seed to Mozambican farmers who lost both their crops and seed supplies.

“People don't have food to eat. They had crops planted, and they lost everything… this [is] a good opportunity to help people switch to quality seeds because they don't have anything better,” said TECAP CEO Rui Brandão.

Given that smallholders cultivate 80 percent of Mozambique’s maize and cassava crops, addressing their needs during this crisis is crucial in ensuring production and food security over the next several crop cycles. TECAP is building on years of training and relationship building to provide critical inputs at fair prices, further boosting self-reliance and sustainability while simultaneously gaining thousands of new customers. 

Stay tuned for the next blog in the resilience series, focused on how strategic plans help agribusinesses identify and serve different customer segments.