Achmea supports scale up and crop diversification
Achmea Foundation has approved a loan of € 200,000 and a grant of € 150,000 to Agrics Kenya. The investment is meant for the scale up of current activitities to increase Agrics' impact, the introduction of more high value crops and the set up of a system for continuous impact measuring and monitoring.
Currently, maize is by far the most dominant crop in Western Kenya. However, margins are small, and relying on a single crop makes farmers vulnerable. The next stage in the development of more successful smallholder farmers, as they move from subsistence farming to commercial farming, is a shift towards higher value crops, generating higher margins and diversifying risks. This is why Agrics and Achmea Foundation work together to introduce more high-value crops into the Agrics product portfolio. The project will identify and test the most successful crops in terms of added value for both farmers and Agrics, before they are added to the Agrics catalogue;
- Do initial research into what crops are most suitable: desk research, consultation with agronomic institutes, farmer interviews, and select three crops for pilot.
- Develop training content and materials for three crops.
- Pilot the crops with 600 farmers, and the Agrics research stations.
- Develop market linkages for farmers for their produce.
- Evaluate the results of the pilot in terms of farmer impact and business case for Agrics
Continuing impact measurement
As a social enterprise, Agrics is looking to continuously measure and monitor its impact. Achmea Foundation and Agrics recognise the need and opportunities to gather impact data (both economic and social) alongsidebusiness related data. Digital devices in the field make continuous and large scale data collection and analysis possible. This is why Agrics will set up a system for continuous impact measuring and monitoring, through the following activities:
- Determine which indicators are the most suitable to measure Agrics economic and social impact based on the Agrics Theory of Change;
- Set up data collection in the Agrics IT systems;
- Gather and validate data from/with farmers and the Agrics research station.