Named Best Practice and Innovation by InterAction
The Sell More For More™ approach helps farmers earn more income by improving post-harvest handling and executing effective market-oriented business plans.
It works through farmer-based organizations (FBO) ranging from informal groups to formal cooperatives, and the name of the approach articulates the outcomes of the program: Sell More product by increasing quantity For More revenue by increasing quality.
Strengthening Local Farmers' Capacity
Sell More For More™ strengthens the post-harvest handling abilities of individual farmers while simultaneously improving FBO management's internal business planning and marketing capacities.
This dual approach reduces individual and collective risk to farmers by empowering them to pursue specific market opportunities and fulfill buyer requirements.
Smallholder Farmers Meet Exacting Standards
Sell More For More™ improves the ability of farmer organizations to meet the quality and quantity specifications of the most stringent buyers.
The program originated from collaboration between the World Food Program (WFP) and USAID in Rwanda. At the end of the Sell More For More trainings, SMFM cooperatives successfully sold their maize to the WFP at an 80 percent acceptance rate, compared to 47 percent for other suppliers, opening the way for more efficient local and regional procurement of food aid.
Program Farmer-based Organizations Outperform Comparison Groups
Participating cooperatives outperform comparison groups in quality measurements. Prior to Sell More For More, members reported a 46 percent average use of all best practices. After SMFM implementation, that figure jumped to 87 percent.
"The impact of the Sell More for More™ trainings has been invaluable. We have seen marked improvement in the quality of the maize being produced, as well as in the leadership capacity of the cooperatives' management. We are now able to purchase with confidence from those cooperatives who have undergone this training."
Components of Sell More For More™
The approach consists of seven components. Training sessions on post-harvest handling and storage demonstrate proper cleaning, sorting and storage techniques to ensure high quality and minimal loss. Leadership, marketing, recordkeeping and operations trainings are delivered as a series of participatory workshops for current and emerging cooperative leaders. These workshops culminate in a business and marketing plan. The seventh and final session, credit, is a one-on-one consultation to provide an in-depth review of the cooperative's financial needs.
Local Partnerships Emerge
Farmer-based organizations that complete the Sell More For More™ program are encouraged to draw together into a chamber or association to pursue shared services, strengthen marketing activities, improve procurement leveraging, provide learning for nascent organizations and advocate on behalf of their collective members.
Eye Toward Sustainability
ACDI/VOCA's approach builds a program that will continue over the long term to serve the needs of farmer organizations and households, both by providing social and economic opportunities and the practical means to seize those opportunities.
Starting this year in Ethiopia, the Cooperative Promotion Agency and local cooperative unions are being trained in the delivery of the Sell More For More™ approach. These measures mean the effort is being embedded within existing institutions, thereby building capacity to service local cooperatives’ needs and creating a sustainable learning environment.
The approach's cascade training not only provides competence to large numbers of cooperative members across an entire region or country, but it also institutionalizes organizational change.
The approach uses an innovative tool, called STICKS™, to spur performance and promote sustainability. STICKS™, which stands for Scalable Tracker for Imparting Certified Knowledge and Skills, is cleverly designed to fulfill multiple purposes. It is a large (11" x 17") and attractive document, printed on two sides on durable material, that participants can be proud to display on a wall. It can also be rolled up like a scroll to serve as a portable recordkeeping tool that can be written on with a pen. It provides project messaging and also serves as a convenient framework for consistent reporting and easy tracking. In showing the holder's commitment and the other farmers to whom he or she is obligated, it provides a social incentive that has led to lead farmers training, on average, 22 other farmers within the first three months.
A Selection of Current Activities