A solution for agro-input retailers: The Last Mile Retailer
Agro-input retailers are central to farm support
Major obstacles to agricultural productivity include limited access to quality agricultural inputs and limited access to relevant extension services. Consequently, private agro-input retailers are uniquely positioned to address these challenges and support farmers (FOs, agribusinesses, producers) through the provision of quality inputs as well as extension and advisory services. Farmer-facing input retailers are well situated and incentivized to provide extension services. The success of the input retailer is directly connected to the success of their farmer customers.
What is lacking?
Agro-input retailers often lack the business knowledge and skills to that are necessary to link to markets, be of a high-quality service to farmers and be sustainable businesses. For agro-input retailers, their challenges often include (but are not limited to) a lack of business acumen, access to finance, and technical knowledge.
The Last Mile Retailer as a solution
The gaps in business acumen and the desire to help agro-input retailers provided the motivation to develop The Last Mile Retailer (LMR) – an integrated approach to measurably building the professionalization of agro-input retailers. The approach comprises a set of inter-linked interventions which all combine to form a coherent and effective “package” to build LMR professionalism. The package consists of (a) assessment (b) training, (c) coaching, and (d) improved market participation. The LMR package has been jointly developed by AMEA members: SCOPEinsight, CNFA, the IFC along with co-developers Bayer and Syngenta.
When using the Last Mile Retailer, practitioners can expect the following results:
- A more professional LMR network could lead to greater retailer loyalty, higher sales volume, a deeper understanding of market needs, higher levels of product knowledge and awareness in the marketplace and more oversight of product storage and disposal practices.
- For agro-input retailers: higher levels of business management capability, business growth, appropriate managerial systems (accounting, inventory management, leadership), improved product knowledge, new contract opportunities, and access to finance.
- For farmers: improved access to quality inputs can have a meaningful impact on farm productivity, food security, sustainability, and income.
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