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Developing market links for smallholder farmers

In South Africa, smallholder farmers remain locked out of formal retail markets due to the markets’ stringent quality and volume requirements, particularly for fresh fruit and vegetables.

The TGVCI Farmer Support and Linkages project was an 18-month programme that addressed this constraint by linking smallholder farmers to established retail markets through emerging commercial farming hubs that acted as collection, standardisation and distribution points of product, as well as a source of inputs, market information, technical advice and training.

Through linking smallholder farmers to established retail markets, the programme increased the economic and social wellbeing of smallholder farmers producing fruit and vegetables in the Gauteng and North West provinces of South Africa.

Genesis adopted a private-sector-led development approach to inform programme implementation by working with market actors to present and facilitate the adoption of new practices (business models, services, behaviours) that resulted in more inclusive supply chains.

Genesis’s facilitation efforts targeted input suppliers, commercial farming hubs, smallholders and retailers whereby the hub procurement model and its integrated commercial benefits to each market actor were presented and promoted for adoption.

Our facilitation efforts resulted in retail off-takers engaging with hubs in an effort to develop long-term procurement relationships. Hubs initiating or consolidating relationships with smallholder farmers. As well as input suppliers proposing models to provide high quality technical advice on crop selection and production to participating farmers.

All of this will continue to underpin the production, consolidation and sale of high quality produce from smallholders to participating private sector off-takers via the commercial farming hubs.

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