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With global food demand set to double by 2050 , every link in the agribusiness supply chain is essential. Few links are as overlooked as agro-input retailers, which are often small shops that sell seeds, fertilizers, veterinary medicines, and crop protection products. Frequently agro-input retailers are also a farmer’s first stop for advice and knowledge about products, but they don’t always have the training and know-how to best advise their smallholder clients.
That’s why IFC and its partners—including SCOPEInsight, Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, Bayer, and Syngenta—created Last Mile Retailer. Part of IFC’s Agribusiness Leadership Program, it aims to improve the professionalism, knowledge base and business performance of agro-input retailers.
Last Mile Retailer is delivered in local languages and can be tailored to varying class sizes and education levels. It begins with a detailed assessment of an agro-input retailer’s business practices, provides in-depth training, professional coaching, and goal-setting during a performance improvement period. These steps help retailers better serve clients, track inventory, and secure access to credit.
Ary Avila, a project manager at Cadelga Group, one of the largest distributors of agricultural products and services in Honduras, explains how Last Mile Retailer is helping agro-input retailers transform the way they serve and support smallholder farmers.
Our service seeks to benefit farmers, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers involved in the manufacture, distribution, and use of agricultural supplies. Manufacturers and distributors ultimately depend on small vendors to sell their goods and they can boost overall sales by investing in the skills of their agro-input retailer network to improve use of inputs and safety.
Last Mile Retailer can also serve development agencies by seeking to strengthen distribution networks that play an essential role in food security and spreading sustainable and climate-smart farming practices.
A trained assessor uses diagnostic tools to score agro-input retailers in five management areas. IFC creates a customized training strategy and curriculum based on the results.
Managers and owners of agro-input retail businesses participate in practical and interactive training tied to the assessment. Participants also create a development plan that addresses performance gaps identified during the assessment.
A trained coach supports owners and managers of agro-input retail businesses as they complete their development plan and identify opportunities to apply what they learned during training.
Through their development plans, retailers define specific actions meant to improve their performance and help them grow their business, secure new contracts, and gain other market benefits that come from being a professional agro-input retailer.
Hear how Last Miler Retailer can help agro-input businesses build their retail networks and help farming families improve their productivity and implement sustainable production practices.
BETTER MANAGEMENT, BETTER BANKABILITY
Margaret Anderson, program director at Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), discusses how the new Assessment Tool developed under Last Mile Retailer helps agro-input retailers track financial and inventory management, improving access to credit and bankability.
LAST MILE RETAILER TRACKS BUSINESS MILESTONES
Lucas Simons, CEO of SCOPEInsight, explains how the Last Mile Retailer’s Assessment Tool gives agro-input retailers essential data to track their business management, inventory, and risk management practices.
WHY IFC FOCUSES ON AGRO-INPUT RETAILERS
Alan Johnson, senior IFC operations officer, explains how IFC is working to fill market gaps by focusing on agribusiness retailers, professionalizing farmer organizations, and improving the financial literacy of agribusiness SMEs.
GLOBAL GOALS: FINANCING AGRO-INPUT RETAILERS
Lucas Simons, CEO of SCOPEInsight, explains how data gathered by Last Mile Retailer’s Assessment Tool may provide insight into the successes and challenges of retailers across different countries and sectors. In turn, the Assessment Tool could be used to expand credit to successful retailers.