By Helen Mant
Agriculture is the backbone of most African economies. As the continent’s largest economic sector, agriculture accounts for 15 percent of GDP. While much attention has been given to developing agriculture across Africa, the continent still faces significant challenges in improving agricultural value chain efficiency, growing livelihoods and enhancing nutrition. Critical to the success of the agricultural transformation is the role of SME who have the potential to drive growth, create jobs and improve livelihoods along the value chains.
IGD’s Making Markets Work platform
As part of IGD’s market facilitation role to bring a market-led approach to its partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation on the Yieldwise initiative to reduce Post Harvest Loss (PHL), IGD has led efforts to integrate Africa’s private sector into RF’s priority value chains to create sustainable market-led, well-functioning value chains that reduce food loss and improve smallholder livelihoods. IGD has direct engagement with over 250 private sector value chain actors and 50 SME finance and business advisory service providers.across four value chains in three countries: tomato and cassava in Nigeria; mangoes in Kenya; and maize in Tanzania.
Our approach in delivering practical interventions include:
- Map – map key private sector value chain actors / players in priority value chains to identify high growth potential SMEs
- Connect – bring those players together around priority issues / challenges through convenings to build business relationships
- Grow – provider support to enable growth through delivering targeted business advisory support to enable SMEs to upskill or facilitating pre-competitive collaborative efforts to address common challenges to improve value chain efficiency
- Advocate – using IGDs extensive platform / reach we advocate for increased commitment to agriculture transformation through governments, greater focus on tackling critical issues such as reducing post harvest loss
Unlocking growth resources for SMEs
While Small- and Medium- Enterprises (SMEs) are the engines of growth in most African economies, and particularly within the agribusiness sector, they typically experience tremendous difficulties in obtaining access to financing. Over the past two years IGD has focused on SME finance adopting the Map, Connect, Grow, Advocate strategy. Over the coming months, IGD will share insights, lessons learned from its Making Markets Work activities.
For more information on IGD’s work with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Yieldwide initiative, please visit this link.
Helen Mant leads IGD’s work with the Rockefeller Foundation across priority value chains, bringing private sector actors together to unlock critical barriers to achieve more efficient value chains.