Missing Middle Initiative (MMI)
The Missing Middle Initiative (MMI) is a flagship initiative that more directly supports smallholder farmers, their organizations, and partnerships between private sector actors in the agriculture value chains and producer organizations. The first set of MMI pilot projects was selected on a competitive basis to test different models and structures. As these projects are implemented on the ground, we will work with stakeholders to learn from the projects and to mainstream some of the key lessons into projects.
To date, GAFSP has awarded $13.2 million in grant funding for five projects, as well as additional financing for monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
In Mali, GAFSP is providing $2.61 million to support a project focused on the inclusion of rural youth in poultry and aquaculture value chains with the Association of Professional Farmers’ Organizations (AOPP) and National Coordination Agency for Farmers’ Organizations in Mali (CNOP), with IFAD. This project supports the creation of sustainable economic activities benefiting rural youth, including training in technical, organizational, and financial issues in the poultry and fish farming value chains. It is also expected to have a positive impact on rural jobs. The project was launched in November 2017.
In Senegal, a $2.48 million grant will support l’Association des producteurs de la vallée du fleuve Gambie (APROVAG) and Yacare Niani Wulli (YNW) with FAO in strengthening rural women’s livelihoods for sustainable economic development. The project will improve agricultural productivity and market access for smallholder farmers, especially women and youth, who are members of producer organizations in the regions of Tambacounda and Kedougou, East Senegal. It is expected to launch in September 2018.
In Bangladesh, 55 smallholder farmer organizations, working with FAO, were awarded $2.48 million for a pilot project to enhance access to finance and markets by strengthening their capacities on management, governance, and engagement in agriculture value chains. Based on performance and extent of partnerships with private sector companies, the project will provide grants to MMI farmer organizations that can be used as a revolving fund to provide small loans to individual smallholder farmers. The project launched in May 2018.
A second project in Mali was awarded $3 million to strengthen four main rice producer organizations. Socodevi and Malo, working with the World Food Programme (WFP), will improve producers’ organizations’ ability to provide value-added services for members, ultimately improving the quality of paddy and milled rice and commencing fortified rice production, and attracting private sector investment in the rice supply chain. For every dollar invested by GAFSP, $2.40 will be leveraged from local banks. It launched in April 2018.
In East Africa, GAFSP is providing $2.61 million to support the Eastern Africa Farmers’ Federation (EAFF), working with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), to use mobile platforms to deliver economic services to farmers. 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 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. It is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2018.