Based on MARKETS’ successful work with other commodities, we have identified the need to expand into maize. As such, we are now in the early stages of launching into this new commodity.
The path MARKETS takes to commence work in new commodities begins with first identifying a large processor of an agricultural commodity who has supply constraints—whether it be in terms of quantity, quality or timeliness—and who is interested in contributing to an outgrower scheme to relieve those constraints. We then research the technologies needed to relieve those constraints, and seek out an implementing partner with the skills to disseminate those technologies. Lastly, we work with the processor(s) and the implementing partners to recruit farmers into the outgrower scheme.
MARKETS has taken the first step in this process and entered into initial partnership discussions with Grand Cereals & Oil Mills Ltd. (GCOML), a maize processor with 50,000 metric tons per annum of input capacity but an insufficient level of supply. At the same time, we are already making arrangements for an agreement with GCOML to begin an outgrower scheme in the next planting season in 2010. As with MARKETS’ other processing partners, the outgrower scheme will serve the dual benefit of increasing and improving supply to the processor, while creating greater profitability for Nigerian maize farmers.
MARKETS has been working to develop a partnership with an implementing organization that will help farmers by providing farmer access to improved hybrid maize varieties, by delivering farmer trainings on good practice in cultivation methods, and by developing demonstration farm plots to showcase improved technologies and communicate the increased yield potential to future farmers.
MARKETS is now investigating how we can support and implement an agribusiness service market for maize threshers. We have entered into discussions to identify the proper technologies and define a model for how to effectively deliver the service to farmers in selected regions around the GCOML plant.