Mozambique, Malawi

Chinyanja Triangle Soil Fertility Project

Overview:

As part of the Rural Livelihoods Diversified Activity – Soil Fertility (RLDA-SF) consortium, CNFA implemented the one-year, $300,000 USAID-funded Chinyanja Triangle Soil Fertility Project, which promoted the development of private-sector networks of agro-dealers to commercialize agricultural inputs distribution in SOuthern Africa. Through the organization’s Malawi affiliate, RUral Market Development Trust (RUMARK), CNFA designed and implemented this program to expand the agricultural input distribution system, increase the flow of inputs to smallholder farmers and increase production and incomes in the Malawi and Mozambique region of Chinyanja Triangle.

Approach:

The Chinyanja Triangle Soil Fertility Project worked to build the business capacity of agro-dealers, link agro-dealers with supplies, demonstrate new technologies to targeted beneficiaries and conduct training in product use. It also trained a cadre of professional trainers and provided overall support across the following areas:

  1. Provided Information and Knowledge Management: CNFA held training sessions on product knowledge and handling, equipping agro-dealers with knowledge and skills on how to handle inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers and agro-chemicals. The project increased agro-dealers’ awareness of the Government of Mozambique’s policies on the use and marketing of agro-chemicals and their relevance to business practices and informed agro-dealers on the issues and challenges associated with developing linkages with supply companies. RLDA-SF also improved agro-dealers’ knowledge of area-specific fertilizers.
  2. Introduced Training Curriculum: CNFA integrated specific “Demand Creation on Fertilizer Use and Efficiency” (FUE) courses into the program, enabling agro-dealers to more effectively promote their products. Demand creation activities, such as demonstration plots, also provided agro-dealers with marketing tools to promote their stocks to farmers.
  3. Developed Market Facilitation and Input Supply System: CNFA led business management training courses to build and improve management practices for retail agricultural enterprises. This enabled local agro-dealers to play a more pivotal role in creating a more efficient distribution system for channeling agricultural inputs to Mozambique’s smallholder farmers. Over the course of the project, CNFA equipped commercial trainers with skills that would enable them to be effective trainers of agro-dealers. Thirteen trainers are now able to offer business management training to new agro-dealer clientele.
  4. Expanded Geographic Reach: CNFA/RUMARK collaborated with input supply companies to expand their reach within the geographic area of Mozambique inside the Chinyana Triangle. As part of this effort, three supply companies participated in CNFA-led meetings regarding the mobilization of supply company credit for trained agro-dealers or agro-dealer associations.