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Market-Led Agriculture

Helping our families establish successful businesses is the key to long-term self-sufficiency. Highly-skilled agronomists with deep expertise in local land and crops as well as proven agricultural techniques provide families with the technical expertise, training, and market information needed to successfully cultivate, harvest, and sell cash crops.

Many agriculturally-based non-profits with short-term project funding focus their work on increasing crop and animal production. Unfortunately, farmers become dependent on provided services and improved market access that stop when the project comes to a close.  The result is that farmers do not learn how to compete in markets or how to ensure year-over-year crop yield from land through sustainable practices.

One of our key principles is: Produce what you can sell! Don’t try and sell what you have produced.

We work through three stages of development to stablize, then strengthen, and prepare families for running their own profitable, small business.

  Stage Length Activities
  Stage 1: Stabilize 18 months Families receive approximately 1 - 2 acres of land to farm along with the basic inputs necessary to cultivate basic grains (rice, beans, and corn)
  Stage 2: Strengthen  3 - 5 years Families receive additional 2- 4 acres of land to farm along with the training and basic inputs necessary to transition to higher-value crops such as coffee and vegetables
      Families receive training on marketing and selling their crops. They learn to make connections with local, regional and/or national buyers for their harvests.
      Families receive a land loan that covers both the basic grain parcel plus the additional land. Families begin to pay on their land with profits from their crops.
  Stage 3: Support 1 - 2 years Families are now farming with minimal support from Agros. They are connecting to the market and selling their products. Our technicians may provide additional training as farmers look to introduce new crops.
      Families continue to pay on their land loan. Once the loan is repaid, families receive title to their land.

 

Over time, our farmers move from a food-security existence, where the focus is understandably on what can be grown and sold today, to a market-oriented approach where farming and marketing strategies focus on income generation. Agro-enterprise aims to support poor farming communities. It incorporates ideas on competitive production, collective marketing, and product diversification, so that our families have a path out of poverty.