From Monday, May 22 to Friday, May 25, 2023, FtF IAM conducted a rapid assessment of the evolution of the agent model in the Toro and Ankole sub-regions. The agent model is a system that uses a role model (agent) in the community to link farmers to authentic inputs providers, assist farmers to organize in producer groups to aggregate demand for inputs and aggregate produce while also providing extension services (on good agronomic practices, post-harvest handling, financial literacy), and other services like spray services, tractor hire. FtF IAM supports agribusinesses to apply the agent model in various ways that suit their businesses to increase profitability.
During the assessment exercise, the FtF IAM team conducted interviews with the agro-dealers, agents, and farmers to understand how the model is impacting their businesses. Through the interviews, FtF IAM learned that the model has increased agro-dealer volumes and profitability by concretizing their relationship with farmers. On the other hand, farmers’ quality, production, and productivity have increased and while most agents are comfortable with the commission arrangement, some of them have not yet realized the business concept of the model and still feel like they need a retainer to further motivate them.
Through the assessment, FtF IAM will understand, identify, and document the success factors influencing the growth and success of the agent model and these will form a basis for setting up successful agent networks.