Men and women are trained how to use a weighing contraption to see how big their goats are.

Training

Developing skills for growth

We believe in connected economies. While subsistence farming provides goods and nutrition for a time, an active marketplace creates incomes, savings, education, employment and opportunities for communities to retain their people and develop new skills and further earning potential.

Sustainable Growth

Making the change from informal to formal markets isn’t an easy one. In formal markets, transactions are rarely cash-in-hand and customers expect products to be a certain size and shape, as well as meet a set of quality standards.

Businesses require careful management, which is why we provide training and support from local experts as farmers scale up production and sales.

A person with a ledger in their lap holds Ugandan cash in one hand and a pen in the other.

Sustainable growth 

We believe in connected economies. While subsistence farming provides goods and nutrition for a time, an active marketplace creates incomes, savings, education, employment and opportunities for communities to retain their people and develop new skills and further earning potential.

Making the change from informal to formal markets isn’t an easy one. In formal markets, transactions are rarely cash-in-hand and customers expect products to be a certain size and shape, as well as meet a set of quality standards.

Businesses require careful management, which is why we provide training and support from local experts as farmers scale up production and sales.

Training

Production Quantity

Dairies, supermarket chains, restaurants and other big buyers want to know that their suppliers can deliver a consistent supply throughout the year. Usually, they want to buy in bulk from fewer locations, as it reduces transport costs.

This can be a challenge for local farmers, who typically produce smaller quantities of their products. Scaling up production can bring extra costs and greater risks for smaller businesses, but with the right training and support, new processes can be adopted that make better use of available resources.

For livestock projects, improved animal management is a key part of increasing yields. Farmers in Kenya received training from the East African Dairy Development project and started producing their own feed for their dairy cows. Not only did this reduce their costs, but improved animal nutrition milk yields more than doubled, increasing incomes as a result.

Farmers in Cambodia that are part of the INCOME project learned to specialize their product processes with training from our experts. Using artificial incubators to hatch chicks, they have been able to keep their hens laying for longer, increasing income from egg sales.

Together with specialist inputs such as improved chicken housing, feed and nutrition, as well as regular vaccinations and deworming, average daily incomes within the project have increased from $0.89 to $3.16.

A young woman in a lab coat stands at a sink as a man moves one of several large vats for milk.

Production Quality

When selling to formal markets, quality is also important. Buyers want to know they’re getting a reliable product that’s safe to consume because it meets hygiene rules and regulations.

Quality is particularly important at the farmer-owned milk hubs that are part of the East African Dairy Development project. Milk is collected from thousands of farmers every day, chilled and then sold to some of the region’s biggest dairies.

Thousands of gallons of milk are collected from the milk hubs we support every single day. By selling in bulk, farmers can secure better prices, increasing the income of many farming families. But one bad batch of milk can spoil a whole truckload, which is why all deliveries undergo testing before they are accepted at each hub.

If the milk does not meet required quality levels, farmers are connected with a local veterinarian who helps them identify and treat the problem.

The restaurants and bakeries that are part of the Leveraging Success project in Honduras also receive food hygiene and safety training to help them deliver quality products. Each business puts strict protocols in place to guarantee that their products meet the rules and regulations for sale to local markets.

Training In Cambodia

Business Management

As farmers continue to scale up their businesses, ongoing training is essential.

Selling into formal markets can be very different than local markets. Suppliers and vendors need to be managed, product quality needs to be carefully controlled and new markets need to be found for goods. Reliability is particularly important in formal markets, as it’s hard to retain clients if orders are not delivered on time.

When farmers sell at local markets, they get paid in cash right away. But when they sell to other businesses, they often don’t receive their money for 2-4 weeks. Working capital is needed to pay suppliers, staff and other core costs, and for many farmers that means they need to take out a business loan. To get approved, they need to show a business plan and be able to provide a record of their accounts.

Record keeping and writing a business plan can be very daunting at first. We provide business training to support farmers as they take these steps, making sure they have the skills and expertise needed to make their businesses successful.

Learn more about our model

Learn more about Connection to Markets.
A young man in Nepal smiles as he walks to the back of a pickup truck loaded with goat. Behind him is a building with a fenced off enclosure for goats.

Connection to Markets

We help make market linkages so farmers can sell their goods at a better price.

About Connection to Markets
Learn more about Impact Investing.
A person makes marks in a ledger that has Ugandan cash sitting on it.

Impact Investing

We provide targeted financial support that propels farmers toward self-reliance.

About Impact Investing
Learn more about Technology and Innovation.
Man working with a water purification system.

Technology and Innovation

We connect farmers to technologies to improve production and help them manage and scale their businesses.

About Technology and Innovation