Strengthening the first mile: Enabling small and medium agribusinesses to unlock development in East Africa
This report (PDF) by Farm Africa, highlights how support to small and medium agriculture businesses is key to driving rural economic development in East Africa. These ‘first mile’ businesses play a vital role in connecting small-scale farming to wider markets by buying their produce or supplying goods to them. However, the first mile market is failing due to a lack of appropriate financial products for agricultural small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Without the finance they need to invest, professionalise or develop, the growth of agricultural SMEs is being stifled, as is the productivity and profitability of smallholders who depend on their services. Agricultural SMEs are being held back by a ‘missing middle’ of suitable financial products. This report maps the various financial instruments that should be provided for agricultural SMEs’ needs, enabling them to grow.