Vision

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Training & Information Services

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

Access to Finance

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

Market Access

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

Data for Decision Making

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

CASE STUDIES

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