From Smallholders to Shareholders: Optimizing Private Sector Engagement for Smallholder Impact
Individual smallholder farmers cultivate two hectares of land or less, but as a group, they are an economic force: An estimated 500 million smallholders feed close to 2 billion people worldwide. How can the private sector access this vast smallholder market to improve both livelihoods and global food security? This question was explored in this seminar, which featured a new report from Feed the Future’s Partnering for Innovation, “From Smallholders to Shareholders: A Guide to Optimizing Private Sector Partnerships for Smallholder Impact.” The guide details how to successfully implement innovative partnerships that build bridges between licensing and local manufacturing, marketing and distribution, financing, and extension and other forms of customer support.
In addition, the seminar highlighted AGCO, formerly called Allis-Gleaner Corporation, an agricultural equipment manufacturer which sells metal grain storage silos to village-based maize traders in Zambia, while also providing training on equipment operation and business skills. Combining these physical and skills-based assets help to reduce postharvest loss.
Also highlighted was a discussion of the Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF), a research and development platform for funders, investors, and financial service providers in the smallholder agricultural finance market. ISF has recently completed a research and design effort in the direct-to-farmer financial service market, highlighting and expanding the range of direct efforts to finance smallholder farmers' agricultural market engagement.
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This was a co-hosted Ag Sector Council and MPEP seminar/webinar, brought to you by both the USAID Bureau for Food Security and the Office of Microenterprise and Private Enterprise Promotion.
Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation is a USAID program that helps the private sector to enter new markets and commercialize agricultural technologies for smallholder farmers through competitive grants and knowledge exchange. The program also facilitates partnerships between USAID Missions and the private sector, and designs effective business development and engagement tools.
W. Robert de Jongh is responsible for working with Partnering for Innovation grantees to help manage the commercialization of each partner’s funded technology as well as document successes and best practices in the newly released guide From Smallholders to Shareholders: A Guide to Optimizing Private Sector Partnerships for Smallholder Impact. de Jongh is also a specialist leader in Monitor Deloitte’s Commercial practice in the Social Impact Service Line. He has more than 20 years of experience and has held senior executive positions in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, during which he focused on change management and corporate strategy initiatives to create long-term corporate value and growth.
Tom Carroll is the Treasurer of the Global Development Incubator and the Director of the Initiative for Smallholder Finance. He has extensive strategic advisory experience in a wide range of industries, including agriculture, health, media, telecommunications, consumer goods, and financial services. His recent work has been focused in the agricultural sector and includes such efforts as a comprehensive market analysis of global and sub-Saharan Africa horticulture markets, market analysis, stakeholder outreach, facilitation, investment planning in the cashew market; and the development of public-private partnerships across a host of commodity markets. He has also led projects on the commercialization of agriculture technologies and the development of permanent mechanisms for enabling technology commercialization in frontier markets. Carroll holds an MBA from Yale School of Management, where he was awarded the Samuel B. Sutphin Fellowship, and a BA in Government from the University of Notre Dame.