The IFC introduces the “Last Mile Retailer”: A complete solution to professionalize agro-input retailers in emerging markets
Washington, D.C., December 3, 2019
In a “by-invitation-only” launch, AMEA members unveiled the Last Mile Retailer, a new product aimed professionalizing agro-input retailers using a standardized system to measure and train retailers. Hosted by AMEA, the launch was co-organized by the program’s developers: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), and SCOPEInsight; and included panel members from USAID and the IFC.
The Last Mile Retailer is a set of interlinked approaches that combine to form a coherent and effective “package” to build agro-input retailer’s professionalism. The package consists of (a) assessment, (b) training, (c) coaching, and (d) improved market participation. Three AMEA members have jointly developed the LMR package (along with Bayer and Syngenta): SCOPEinsight, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
SCOPEinsight CEO, Lucas Simons, explained that the Last Mile Retailer (LMR) “is a new way to measurably improve the professionalism of agro-input dealers; It has the potential to address the gap in smallholder farmers’ access to critical modern inputs.”
The Last Mile Retailer has benefits for all stakeholders:
- For agro-input companies: a more stable and professional distribution network for their products. A more professional LMR network could lead to greater retailer loyalty, higher sales volume, a better 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.
- For development professionals: a cost-effective way to improve agro-input retailers.