ETG Farmers Foundation began with a project in Uganda through a unique private-public partnership. The project aimed to advance smallholder farmers livelihoods and financial inclusion.
THE AFRICAN FARMER SERVICE CENTERS: RURAL FINANCE FOR SMALLHOLDER FARMERS
The Foundations pilot project was one of the first to bring a commercial bank on board for smallholder farmer financing with Stanbic Bank. The pilot also integrated the agricultural supply chain company ETG to act as the buyer. ETG Uganda also provided input loans for seeds, crop protection and fertilizer were provided to further empower communities of smallholder farmers who had gained trainings through prior USAID projects. The Foundation played a key role in conceptualizing and creating this multi-stakeholder partnership. The project supported farmers growing maize and beans and EFF established rural service centers to provide farmers with multiple services including technical training on crops, financial contract management and on-site trainings. EFF worked with the smallholders to strengthen farmer groups and associations and educate farmers on their responsibilities within the group structures and on repayment of input loans to sustain the project. EFF worked alongside ETG to provide and train farmers in timely aggregation, quality control and farm to buyer logistics and even though the drought in the first season led to poor repayment rates and the eventual closure of the project these farmer groups still supply maize and beans to ETG Uganda.