For Immediate Release
Thursday 10th March, 2016
320,000 smallholders benefit from private sector investments in rural communities
Over 320,000 smallholder farmers have benefitted from increased investments by the private sector in rural communities in Zambia. This has been achieved through various interventions implemented by Musika in partnership with the private sector over a period of four years.
With joint funding support from the Swedish Embassy in Lusaka and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Zambia, Musika continues to provide its corporate clients with high quality, commercially focused technical advisory services and where relevant, smart subsidies to bring down some of the initial risks in testing and developing new business models relevant to the smallholder market.
Apart from increasing farmers access to affordable, productivity enhancing input technologies for crop and livestock, agricultural services, appropriate financial services, and brokerage to output markets, Musika facilitates, through its corporate partners, the transfer of technical information necessary to encourage adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies and maximise the benefit of their usage through private sector-led extension services.
“As a Zambian non-profit company which supports private investment in the smallholder agricultural market, Musika has helped businesses to develop mutually beneficial and transparent commercial relationships with smallholders that integrate the provision of information and technology adoption, and provide confidence and long term incentives for smallholders to invest in their farming business. This in our view is what qualifies as an improved market,” Musika Corporate Affairs Manager, Pamela Hamasaka explained.
Currently, the organisation is working with 64 corporate clients providing improved market access to smallholders in all the ten provinces of Zambia, leading to a general improvement in productivity and production of smallholder farmers. Musika also strives to ensure women and the youth are key participants in improved agricultural markets.
As a result of Musika’s intervention, over 2,000 small businesses operating within rural communities provided critical links in the supply chain between agribusiness and smallholders in 2015.
“Musika’s work in the input markets has had the most profound and systemic effect on the industry especially in the seed and agrochemical sectors where Musika’s technical and catalytic investment support has led to a major strategic focus by companies in those sectors on servicing the smallholder sector with an information and extension-based distribution model that extends deep into the villages and also into the more isolated markets that were previously seen as commercially unviable,” she added.
By close of 2016, Musika expects to exceed its five-year strategic target of achieving an improved functioning of productivity enhancing farming input markets. Initiatives such as Musika’s support to the Ministry of Agriculture’s ‘e-voucher’ programme has accelerated the growth of the agricultural inputs market significantly in the districts in which it was piloted, and its intensified support to the growth of the agricultural markets in the more isolated regions of Northern, Muchinga and Luapula provinces previously un-served by private markets.
Musika has been a key partner of the Agritech Expo from its inception because it provides a platform for information sharing between the farming community and agribusinesses. Since the first Expo was held in 2014, the event has proved to be hugely influential in exposing the community to latest technologies and driving forwards the advancement of modern farming in Zambia.
The 2016 Agritech Expo site has been extended to 40ha to accommodate over 130 exhibitors and includes small to medium enterprises (SMEs) expected to exhibit in the newly introduced SME business zone.
In an effort to improve the Expo experience for farmers and agribusinesses, Musika will offer free advisory services to small and emergent farmers, and play a key role in supporting agricultural SMEs in establishing linkages with large suppliers of agricultural products and services, advise on business opportunities available in the sector, and offer practical solutions to business operational challenges.
“Our primary target is small scale and emergent farmers seeking practical solutions relating to agricultural machinery and equipment on display for them to make informed decisions, and offer advice on the various funding options available to support the growth of their farming businesses among others,” said Hamasaka.
Pamela Hamasaka – Communications & Outreach Manager