Chinyanja Triangle Soil Fertility Project
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 agrodealers 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.
The Chinyanja Triangle Soil Fertility Project worked to build the business capacity of agrodealers, link agrodealers 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:
- Provided Information and Knowledge Management: CNFA held training sessions on product knowledge and handling, equipping agrodealers with knowledge and skills on how to handle inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers and agro-chemicals. The project increased agrodealers’ awareness of the Government of Mozambique’s policies on the use and marketing of agro-chemicals and their relevance to business practices and informed agrodealers on the issues and challenges associated with developing linkages with supply companies. RLDA-SF also improved agrodealers’ knowledge of area-specific fertilizers.
- Introduced Training Curriculum: CNFA integrated specific “Demand Creation on Fertilizer Use and Efficiency” (FUE) courses into the program, enabling agrodealers to more effectively promote their products. Demand creation activities, such as demonstration plots, also provided agrodealers with marketing tools to promote their stocks to farmers.
- 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 agrodealers 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 agrodealers. Thirteen trainers are now able to offer business management training to new agrodealer clientele.
- 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 agrodealers or agrodealer associations.