Integrating smallholder farmers into supply chains through financing innovations
In 2011, TechnoServe, Instituto Ventura, and food company Inaceres partnered to catalyze economic growth for smallholder farmers in Brazil by building a sustainable, inclusive, and competitive outgrower model for heart of palm.
The initiative provided technical assistance to smallholder farmer organizations, training them in the business, administrative, and agricultural skills they needed to provide services, inputs, seeds, and market connections to their smallholder members. Through their improved operations, participating farmer organizations helped their communities to plant 70,000 new seedlings. In order to ensure these improvements could be sustained after the project’s end, TechnoServe worked with Instituto Ventura to provide credit to smallholders – allowing farmers from land reform resettlements to maintain the necessary expansion and improvements to sell to formal buyers like Inaceres – and helped farmer companies to access formal financing in order to ensure their sustained growth. By the end of the project’s two-year lifespan, TechnoServe facilitated 14 contracts integrating smallholders into Inaceres’s supply chain.