Improving Market Access for Smallholder Farmers in Central America

TechnoServe is working to increase revenues for 5,000 fresh produce smallholder farmers in Guatemala and Nicaragua by integrating the farmers into a more inclusive and profitable market system.

Context

Across Central America, smallholders in fresh produce supply chains encounter multiple production- and market-related challenges that prevent them from achieving sustainable livelihoods through their farms.

Suboptimal agronomic practices and unpredictable weather patterns (along with the resulting disease and crop loss) limit yields on the farm; while high production costs, price volatility, and indirect or informal market connections degrade farmers’ profit margins.

Opportunity

By working with farmers to improve their production and integrate them into more inclusive and profitable market systems, the Smallholder Market Access Program in Central America, funded by the Walmart Foundation, will increase smallholder incomes by at least 20%.

Strategy

At the production level, the project will train farmers in the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) they need to improve their yields and quality to meet commercial requirements. Training will emphasize Climate Smart Agricultural practices (CSA) in order to boost their resilience and production in volatile climatic conditions.

Beyond the farm gate, the project will strengthen the business practices of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) to better connect farmers with formal markets, facilitate their access to financing, add value to their products, and secure the best possible prices for their harvests.

At the market level, the project will facilitate formal financing for FPOs and farmers, allowing them to invest in maintaining and improving their production, and thereby supporting a virtuous cycle of growing yields, quality, and profitability.

Project Targets

  • 5,000 farmers benefited
  • 15% increase in productivity
  • 20% increase in incomes
  • 3,850 ha of land under improved CSA practices
  • 3,750 farmers trained on quality improvement
  • $450,000 in loans facilitated to more than 1,500 farmers
  • 12 FPOs trained in business and supply chain management, including a gender mainstreaming plan

Partner

The Walmart Foundation: Walmart and the Walmart Foundation generally provide more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind to support programs that align with our philanthropic priorities. We focus on areas where we can do the most good – combining the unique strengths of the business alongside our philanthropy.