FCI’s Commercial Village Savings and Investment Model is based on saving 10% of sales per season to close inclusion gaps in access and use of financial services. Financial education needs to be enhanced to foster the use of financial services by marginalized communities especially youth and women and FCI is currently doing this through the Commercial Village Model approach in partnership with various service providers such as Banks, Sacco’s and Cooperatives to build awareness and capacity to remove barriers to accessing finance.
Financial inclusion seeks to widen access to financial services to poor which reduces inequality and promotes social mobility. With access to loans, savings, insurance, smallholders are better able to manage risks save money for emergencies and invest in education and business opportunities. According to Global Financial Inclusion Index the global number of adults with access to formal financial services rose from 51% to 62% only in 3 years (2011-2014).
According to World Bank report 2016, more than 2 billion adults do not use formal financial services and more than 50% in the poorest households are unbanked. Farm Concern International, FCI addresses this challenge through the Commercial Villages Savings approach embedded in the FCI’s Commercial Villages Model. This approach promotes saving culture among the smallholders in the Commercial Villages and facilitates partnership development with financial institutions to access financial services. The Commercial Village Savings and investment scheme is based on income from commodity sales facilitated through the collective marketing. With increased and predictable incomes, households deliberately set aside savings on regular and predetermined basis with targeted investment objective including input acquisition, family medical care, education and clothing among others. The approach integrates women, youth and other rural poor who mostly are vulnerable to financial exclusion and ensures that they play an active role in the utilization of the savings. The buildup of savings demonstrates proven cash flow for farmers which is attractive to financial institutions as a basis for lending. Additionally, regular savings by farmers and proper record keeping inculcates a financial discipline that profiles farmers better to financial institutions.
Kafulama Commercial Village smallholder farmers realized sales worth over USD 7,000 from collective marketing under the Malawi Potato commercialization Programme supported by IFAD and implemented by Farm Concern International, FCI in partnership with Ministry of Agriculture and market partnerships with traditional informal wholesale buyers and processing companies...Read More
Mr. Adisu Barako is a trader who buys shoats from agro-pastoralists in Marsabit County and sells in Isiolo and Nairobi markets. He benefitted greatly after learning collective sourcing of shoats from FCI under the Tearfund funded Agro-pastoralist Commercialization and Markets Programme in Northern Kenya. He used to source his shoats from individual farmers or from the highly priced local markets denying him vital cash flow to meet normal basic family needs...Read More
Mr. Wambua Ndonye, a 61 year-old farmer, a father of five and a resident of Mwala in Eastern Kenya had been planting maize and beans in his four acres of land for many years until he crossed paths with the Semi- Arid Region Commercialization Programme implemented by World Vision Kenya and Farm Concern International with support from World Vision Australia. Mr. Ndonye had only been producing enough from his staple crops for home consumption with mangoes being the major commercial plant...Read More
Farmers in Eastern region are reaping millions of shillings from sales of green grams, tomatoes, water melons and onions amounting to Ksh. 1,306,080. The increase in sales was attributed to capacity building forums and exposure visits to other regions of Kenya to learn various aspects of agronomy and markets carried out by Farm Concern International (FCI) and World Vision Kenya under the Semi- Arid Region Commercialization Programme which is funded by World Vision Australia...Read More
Mr Dickson Ndaka, a 63 year old outstanding cassava farmer, is now able to raise school fees for his daughter and provide other basic needs for his family. This was after Cassava commercialization was introduced in Eastern Kenya by Farm Concern International, FCI in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). ..Read More
Mr. Kingori is a member of Embaringo Commercial Village in Central Kenya started as a result of FCI commercialization trainings and whose life has been transformed from a subsistence farmer earning only Ksh. 40,000 per season to a commercial farmer making Ksh. 300,000 per season. His household is one of the 115,491 smallholder households commercialized under the Domestic Markets Regional Programme funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and implemented by FCI...Read More
A few years ago, Isabella Paul, a widowed mother of two from Muruguma village in Eastern Kenya, considered farming an inadequate way to earn a living. This was because all her previous endeavours to make profit from farming carrots and cabbages had proved futile. However, two years after joining the Domestic Markets Regional programme implemented by Farm Concern International and funded by Bill and Melinda Gates, she has been able to pay school fees for her daughter from onion and Irish potato farming...Read More
Foum Makame, a married father of six children, is a farmer from Kazole village in North ‘B’ district who grows cassava as a cash crop. His other crops grown in his land include banana, rice and sweet potato. Mr. Foum has about 3 acres under cassava where he uses family labor for the rest of the field operations except for bush clearing and ridge making where he uses hired labor. Mr. Foum used to grow cassava in the past but he was disappointed with the performance of local varieties of cassava which were susceptible to diseases and pests, and decided to turn into other crops...Read More
Under the USAID Kenya Horticulture Competitiveness Project (KHCP), FCI staff offered pre-credit training for farmers in the Kadem area, Nyanza region. This action was precipitated by FCI’s understanding that smallholders in Africa often lack the startup capital required to make the initial investment for their desired agro enterprise to kick off. As a result of the training, these farmers, who ordinarily would not qualify under the stringent credit market conditions were offered credit with a minimal interest rate of 10% for 18 months on assets, and 10% for four months on farm inputs. What a deal! ...Read More
Traders are important partners to smallholder farmers. They often offer an important and cheaper outlet for farmers who want to dispense their produce rather than wait for the consumers to visit them. However, by operating individually, traders limit their opportunities towards business development in terms of capital growth, purchasing power and access to quality and required volumes....Read More
Hormood Iskashi Farmer Organization, in formerly war torn and impoverished Somaliland is now actively involved in profitable trade. Although many farmers in Baki district of Awdal region grow plenty of tomatoes and onions as the main horticultural crops, because of limited access to markets, most of them are often exploited by the middlemen who customarily offer farmers low prices for their produce...Read More
Nitutonya Commercial Producer Group (CPG) from Mwala started savings with a membership of 20, (12 women and 8 men). Each member contributes Ksh 100 per month. However, this was not enough for every member to borrow and purchase farm inputs. Members of Nitutonya CPG joined Itithini C.V and were trained on the Commercial Village Model, which emphasized on collective action by Farm Concern International under the Kenya Cassava Village Processing Initiative supported by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and implemented by FCI...Read More
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond