Why is this Important?

Efficient market systems that respond to demand and supply of technologies and ensure small holder farmers have the necessary inputs at the right time, right quantities and quality and can access output markets is essential for Africa’s agriculture to effectively grow incomes for the farmer, business and country.

Agricultural technology, especially higher yielding and adaptable crop varieties have the potential to not only improve food security but also accelerate and transform African agriculture and economies. However, the slow adoption of new technologies, from improved seeds through to mechanization, has delayed realization of the benefits of these technologies by smallholders who make up 80 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s farms.  This deficiency is in part due to an under-developed private sector and the failure of market systems to bring new technologies swiftly to the end users. Challenges to both the supply and demand sides of the agricultural input value chain and lack of access to capital or to credit for smallholders that would allow them to invest in more advanced technologies remain. In addition, access to output markets, within countries and across borders, is also constrained by several factors, including infrastructure, policy and a lack of financing.

Improving and streamlining the market systems in the region will produce substantial benefits to the agriculture sector by reducing the cost of doing business for all players in the agricultural value chain including farmers, seed companies, agro-dealers and consumers. Making markets work for African agriculture and helping farmers to access new technologies and inputs could spur a transformation of the wider economy. According to World Bank estimates, the African agriculture sector could more than triple in size by 2030, from US$300 billion today to US$1 trillion, driving strides forward in poverty reduction and food security.

Our contribution

  • We work with partners throughout the product development lifecycle identifying products in the research and development pipeline and helping to shepherd them towards a commercial release, including product allocation, licensing, seed production, promotion and marketing. We foster collaborations with public and private actors across the value chain, including research institutes, universities, national and regional governments, technology owners, farmers, agro-dealers and financial institutions to ensure that the technologies are developed in line with current market needs and are suitable and relevance for the future of farming that is attractive to women and youth.

  • We help build the capabilities of private sector companies including SMEs to enhance their capacity, speed and effectiveness to deliver agricultural technologies to smallholder farmers. This includes capacity building in efficient mass production systems, quality control, marketing, and technical knowledge of the products as well as general business development.

  • We explore alternative business models for licensing, production, and distribution to ensure quicker and faster mass deployment of the technologies.

We believe that that building a more efficient, sustainable and inclusive agriculture system in Africa will require action from both the the public and private sectors.

The private sector is especially well placed to commercialise new agricultural innovations and ensure that these technologies reach. farmers. We therefore work across the value chain to ensure that the market systems function efficiently and effectively so that agricultural products make it to where they are needed most.

We build commercialisation considerations into our projects from product discovery to product access and use by farmers and help build a stronger ecosystem of capable retail partners who can ensure that technological innovations are widely distributed.

The value chain for technology transfer is illustrated below

Efficient market systems will accelerate uptake and use of agricultural technologies for improved livelihoods of small holder farmers

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