GAFSP has launched a pilot initiative – known as the Missing Middle Initiative – that is focused on producer organizations (POs), civil society organizations (CSOs) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In an effort to reach smallholder farmers more directly, these grants are smaller than the average Public Sector Window projects and the funds are channeled through POs/CSOs/SMEs collaborations with Supervising Entities.
Through this initiative, GAFSP aims to stimulate investments along the full spectrum of the agriculture value chain and will promote improved access to finance (grants, concessional finance or commercial finance) and complementary services (extension, capacity building, technology or access to markets) to smallholder farmers.
A robust monitoring, evaluation and learning exercise will assess whether the pilot projects have delivered on planned outputs and outcomes, share actionable knowledge and experience from MMI, and demonstrate mechanisms to mainstream the nexus of POs/CSOs/SMEs, smallholder farmers, and agriculture value chain actors in the regular GAFSP projects in the future. GAFSP has awarded US$13.2 million in grant funding for five projects:
Inclusion of Rural Youth in Poultry and Aqua-culture Value Chains in Mali from the Association of Professional Farmers' Professional Organizations (AOPP) and National Coordination Agency for Farmers’ Organizations in Mali (CNOP) with IFAD: The project will support the creation of sustainable economic activities benefiting rural youth through producer organizations. The rural youth will be trained in technical, organizational and financial issues in the poultry and fish farming value chains and have positive impact on rural jobs.
Strengthening Rural Women’s Livelihood for a Sustainable Economic Development in East Senegal l’Association des Producteurs de la vallée du Fleuve Gambie (APROVAG) with FAO: The project will improve agricultural productivity and access to market for smallholder farmers, especially women and youth, who are members of producer organizations in East Senegal.
Increasing Access to Finance for Farmer Organizations in Bangladesh Sara Bangla Krishok Jote (SBKJ - All Bangladesh Farmers Alliance) with FAO: The project aims to enhance access to finance and markets for smallholder farmer organizations by strengthening their capacities on management, governance, and engagement in selected agriculture value chains.
Quality Paddy for Higher Incomes in Mali from Agricultural Community Service Organization (Ag CSO) Socodevi with WFP: The project aims to strengthen the four main rice producer organizations by enhancing their ability to provide value-added services to their members. The project is expected to improve quality of paddy and milled rice; commence fortified rice production and attract private sector investment in the rice supply chain. For every dollar invested by GAFSP, $2.40 will be leveraged from the local banks.
Using mobile platforms to deliver economic services to farmers in East Africa from Eastern Africa Farmers' Federation (EAFF) with IFAD: The mobile platform is an innovative communication and payment platform to create a virtual space for the brokering of commercial partnerships and contracts between farmers and off-takers and input dealers, as well as for the provision of financial services with low transaction costs. The project aims to increase the access to and use of critical economic services such as marketing, financial services and extension and advisory services by smallholder farmers in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. For every dollar invested by GAFSP, $1.90 will be leveraged from the private sector.
MMI Guidelines (February, 2016, pdf)