Commercial Farm Service Program
CNFA implemented the two-year (2012-2014), $2 million Commercial Farm Service Program (CFSP), a program funded by USAID’s Innovation Fund for Ethiopian Agriculture (IFEA), adapting its proven Farm Service Center (FSC) solution to the Ethiopian context for the first time. By establishing FSCs as “one-stop-shops” in their communities, entrepreneurs provided a complete range of inputs, services, information and output marketing linkages to Ethiopian smallholders. This solution continued to support farmers in making the transition from subsistence to commercial production as part of the Feed the Future Ethiopia Farm Service Center Project, which CNFA implemented in Ethiopia from 2015 to 2017.
Through mentoring and training, the program provided locally owned businesses with uniform branding, technical and business management training, expert agronomic and veterinary consultations and assistance with inventory management, marketing, agriculture extension and outreach. In support of a wholesale buying cooperative approach, the CFSP team worked with the FSC owners and operators to legally establish and register a joint venture named EGAA Agricultural Input Supply PLC.
- Established FSCs: Established six locally-owned retail farm service supply and service locations or FSCs with inventories, training, services and output market linkages.
- Created APEX Organization: CFSP created a wholesale buying cooperative, owned by and dedicated to serving the inventory needs of the FSCs and linking them to national suppliers.
- Supported Marketing and Business Development: Delivered trainings on uniform branding, business skills, technical and advisory capacity, quality standards and environmental and worker safety procedures across the network.
- Improved Farmer Capacity: Promoted FSC-led farmer outreach activities, including training seminars, demonstration plots and field days to showcase the impacts of improved inputs and improve farmer production skills.