While agrodealers have potential to drive smallholder farming and transform agriculture, their business is often impeded by the limitations in purchasing power of their poor clientele because of low purchase power among, who are typically poor, rural farmers. The consequence has been dire on the quality of yield since most Most rural farmers are unable to access agro-chemicals and equipment, which negatively impacts the quality and size of their yields. To overcome this, agrodealers are assisting farmers to access credit.
Patricie Kantarama is an agrodealer who is changing improving farmers; experiences in Rurembo sector, Nyabihu district. To sustain her business, she needed to build client confidence among farmers and farmer promoters (FPs), who in turn support improved access to affordable products. Kantarama’s opportunity came when she was mobilized by HW to join an input credit scheme, a model that links farmers to agrodealers for business on credit. The result has been promising. She has already registered enough profits where, this season alone, she has extended credit to 42 farmers (32 males and 10 females).
Kantarama is one of the agrodealers being assisted by Hinga Weze to join the scheme. With funding USAID and Feed the Future, HW is supporting agrodealers to use the input credit scheme model where farmers access products on credit to use on credit and are and they are able to repay the loan after harvest or sale of produce. The arrangement is part of the project’s wider mandate to sustainably increase smallholder farmers’ income, improve the nutritional status of women and children, and increase the resilience of Rwanda’s agricultural and food systems to a changing climate.
Now with this possibility of accessing inputs on credit, farmers are reaping from improved yield and better the benefits of improved yields and productivity. Through the input credit scheme, a total of 1,346 farmers in four districts have accessed input with a credit value of 26.1 million RWF. In Kayonza alone, 260 farmers accessed credit worth 2.13 million RWF. In Rutsiro (KOABUNYA Cooperative farmers), 972 farmers accessed input worth 2.8 million, in RWF. In Ngororero, an aggregator. called Anias, provided input credit worth 20.6 Million RWF to 72 farmers, while an aggregator in Nyabihu, Patrice, provided with Patricie, 42 farmers were assisted to with 604,400 RWF worth of input credit.
Kantarama alone was able to supply on creditsupplied 204 KGg of maize seed, H629, 500KGkg of DAP, Urea (289.5KGkg), NPK (140KGkg), Dethane (15KGkg), Ridomil (1KGg) and Rocket (five5 liters equivalent to Rwf 604,400 RWF to farmers on credit.
“I decided to provide inputs on credit to these farmers because HW built their capacity through training on financial literacy,” stated Patricie said. One of her clients, Sebageni Tharcisse, a farmer in Rurembo sector, says he was able to acquire products on credit ranging from NPK (90 KG), Urea (45KG), Dethane (10 KG), Ridomil (KG) and Rocket – two2 bottles) worth 110,000 RWF.
“I’m happy that I don’t have to sell off my sheep to be able to pay the agrodealer, I can now pay back after harvest,” observed a visibly excited Sebageni. With easy access to agro-inputs, farmers are set to improve their yield while agrodealers gain vital clients and market for agrochemicals.