Linking Grain Farmers to Markets

Staple crops like maize, soy and bean can provide much more than just subsistence for smallholders, they can also increase income, create jobs and improve food security. The Storage and Proper Post-Harvest Improvements for Resource Efficiency (SAPPHIRE) program, funded by the DFID, worked to capitalize on the potential of maize and increase incomes for farmers through increasing productivity and improved aggregation. The project reached nearly 30,000 smallholder maize farmers -- 50 percent of whom are women -- in Mbeya and Ruvuma regions with training on improved agronomic and post-harvest practices. TechnoServe has also supported agricultural marketing cooperative societies in credit applications and contracts with an input distributor to help provide farmers with access to improved inputs. In addition, TechnoServe worked with these same agricultural marketing cooperative societies, representing 28 warehouses in total, improving their capacity to market maize whilst navigating the complex maize marketing environment. As SAPPHIRE II has drawn to a close, it has succeeded in formally capturing learnings, transitioning warehouse capacity building to entities supporting the maize sector and in facilitating private sector buyer linkages with a number of participant farming communities"