By farmers
for farmers

Producers Direct is an award winning enterprise led by farmers across East Africa and Latin America:

  • We are a global network of over 600,000 farmers.
  • We are led by farmers for farmers
  • We co-invest in creating lasting impact

We are offering a scalable model with the potential to reach all 500m smallholders globally. Through this approach we are raising the value of farming worldwide to provide an opportunity for smallholders to transform their farms into sustainable businesses.

Our Model

By working from the bottom-up and harnessing the strength and knowledge of our huge network, Producers Direct empowers farmers to take leadership in combatting the key challenges they face.

Producers Direct delivers services by farmers, for farmers through a global network of Centres of Excellence. Based at Producer Organisations and acting as farmer-run businesses, these Centres of Excellence are one stop shops for farmer services and consist of living, learning classrooms where innovations can be tested, developed and shared with other farmers.

Producer Organisations also work closely with local farming, youth and women’s groups, guaranteeing each Centre of Excellence responds to local needs – including finding constructive ways to engage with the young people vital to the future of rural communities.

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Network of smallholder farmers and their families

The Producers Direct model focuses on developing farmer-led solutions to the 4 main areas below.

Click on each one to find out more information.

The Problem

Training offered to farmers is often expensive, inaccessible and ineffectual. Producer Organisations spend a lot of money on external training and our research has shown that this does not often result in farmers implementing any changes on their farms.

The Solution

Producers Direct is developing a global network of Centres of Excellence (CoEs) that offer relevant and affordable farmer-led training. Each CoE offers farmers access to a network of qualified Promoter Farmers delivering relevant and affordable in-person training on demonstration sites. These sites act as living, learning classrooms where farmers can learn and trial innovative farming practices. In-person training is supported by digital tools such as WeFarm, which amplifies reach and impact to larger numbers.

The Outcome

40448
Farmers that have accessed training and information services

The Problem

Once trained, farmers are often unable to find access to finance required to trial techniques. This limits their ability to implement new practices such as trialing new fertilising techniques to boost productivity or the development of beekeeping as an alternative micro-enterprise to increase household incomes.

The Solution

Producers Direct has developed a rotating capital fund co financed with contributions from partner cooperatives. The fund provides micro-loans to farmers so they can access funds necessary to make on-farm investments.

The Outcome

$153K
Amount loaned to producers

The Problem

Even once they have been able to implement new practices or microenterprises farmers still face the challenge of finding relevant reliable markets for their new products. This is especially pertinent to farmers seeking to diversify away from reliance on one cash crop as a source of income (such as tea or coffee). This often leads to a large amount of post harvest loss and farmers underselling their crops to unscrupulous buyers at the farm gate.

The Solution

Producers Direct is developing the capacity of Producer Organisations to package and sell co-branded products sourced directly from the producers. To help with this, Producers Direct has supported in the development of 2Kuze, a digital tool that supports farmers to bundle their products together through a transparent system. 2Kuze is underpinned by Youth Innovation Hubs to manage post-harvest logistics and coordination. Youth are supporting farmers to bundle crops for the first time and develop value chains for unorganised crops, increasing farmers’ access to untapped markets and buyers.

The Outcome

2191
Farmers using 2kuze platform to sell products

The Problem

In order to track progress of their activities, adequately respond to changing conditions, and continue to develop their own innovative experiments; farmers need access to the relevant data. Although there is an abundance of information around smallholder farmers, data is often extracted and rarely fed back to farmers in ways that they can use it to make on farm and business decisions.

The Solution

Producers Direct is pioneering a farmer-led data system that aims to change farmers relationship to information: empowering them to be active participants in the collection and analysis of data to begin managing their farms as sustainable and profitable small-scale businesses. Our solution supports farmers to digitise their on-farm records and utilise digital sensors attached to everyday farming tools. This information is then linked to our global data dashboard that has been designed by farmers, for farmers to build holistic pictures of their farm and businesses using their own data - data that is recognisable and meaningful.

The Outcome

1116
Farmers involved in farmer-led data collection and analysis

Welcome to Producers Direct, the new name for Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation. We will be launching the new brand in February 2018. Join our mailing list for latest news.