Scaled Impact is contributing to the transformation of the agricultural sector in Africa. We are working to raise incomes for rural communities through local development
Africa: resource constrained and unproductive
Land is not widely available for agriculture across most of Africa. Despite the popular vision of Africa as the continent of endless, untapped veld there is a serious shortage of land. Either because it is owned and in very small parcels, or it is of too low quality to be cultivated.
Where regulation is weak and oversight challenging, as in much of central Africa, farmers are expanding into forests, cutting back trees and reducing habitats and bio-diversity.
On top of the scarcity of land, yields are among the lowest in the world. African farmers are low intensity users of fertilizer and other drivers of crop performance.
This is changing however.
Infrastructure investments: creating opportunities to unlock potential
Until recently the infrastructure to enable farmers to boost their yields and get to market has not been available. The last ten years, however, have seen steadily increasing investment in African roads, ports, power, communications and water infrastructure. Big advances have been made in the energy, transport and telecoms sectors. These advances are now enabling the agricultural sector to make similar progress.
Scaled Impact: creating and capturing on-farm value
We are enabling this progress by addressing the last mile to the farm; the point where smaller farmers are not well served. We are delivering the technologies, services, finance and information needed for farmers and communities to make the most of their land.
Small and medium sized companies play a crucial role. Having companies present at critical points in the value chain to benefit smaller farms, helping them to capture value and ensure access to markets provides farmers with self-sustaining support structures.
We aim to drive growth in the agricultural sector to increase economic stability, raise growth and promote diverse economic activity.
Protecting the base: promoting sustainable solutions
We are also making vital contributions to sustainability, bio-diversity and climate change adaptation. By increasing the productivity of existing land and minimizing post-harvest losses we aim to reduce pressure on non-cultivated land whether savanna, forest, swamp or field. We are supporting crops that are resilient to climate change and support farmers and communities to in adapting to a changing environment, ensuring they are resilient in the face of new weather patterns.
Fast forward to IMPACT
We scale impact by taking elements of existing projects and managing them to scale, taking risk positions
Building on proven success cases
We take elements from existing agricultural development projects and take them to scale by embedding them in a commercial framework. These elements can be some variety of the cropping methods developed, the infrastructure used, the processing technologies or storage and logistics concepts. We establish the agricultural and economic viability of potential projects and work with communities and partners in the value chain to structure robust operating models.
We have two levers driving operating models for both scale and impact.
1. Driving on farm value capture
First, we enable on farm value capture through enabling processing and storage. We work aim to maximize the value that smaller farmers can generate from their farms through, for example: drying and processing products for a variety of markets from dried fruits to botanicals for flavouring drinks.
2. Structuring economic incentives
Second, we structure the economic incentives in the value chain, setting up, supporting and promoting companies that establish as much value as possible in communities.
We run our projects at risk and by providing finance to and taking joint ownership stakes in partner companies, we ensure the beneficial nature of their operations is maintained. By having companies that are involved in the business and set to profit by supporting smaller farmers we ensure that business models have critical mass. That they are self-sustaining and replicating and that they steadily expand to new regions and farmers and products.
Integrating processes into functioning supply chains
During the period of ramp up and growth from pilot status to full scale operations we provide end-to-end value chain co-ordination. This addresses the fundamental market failure that we have identified.
Development projects lack the co-ordination and scale that is required to open markets and drive growth
Smaller scale farmers and supporting projects lack the scale and organization to be able to take their pilot projects and the lessons they have learned to the point where they have sustained revenues and bankable business cases. Larger companies have both the scale and the co-ordination ability to be able to drive projects to scale at their own cost and risk. We fill this gap and in so doing create a pipeline of projects and bankable business cases for both development and commercial finance institutions to support.
Our own projects, our own risk, our own drive
We are highly entrepreneurial. We take full responsibility for delivering and growing our projects. We make them work.
Raise household incomes
We aim to raise the incomes of households in rural areas. This is the soundest and most direct way to raise the security of families, improving their options for obtaining food, shelter, clean water and critical services like healthcare and transport. Above all raising incomes increases peoples’ dignity and sense of self-worth.
Increased incomes mean greater resilience to external shocks like weather, disease or violence. Evidence shows that increased availability of cash in poorer households substantially improves life outcomes.
Maximize environmental benefits
We manage for the maximum environmental benefit of our projects at various levels: reducing pressure on land use and deforestation, managing new or existing operations for an improved footprint on air and water emissions and land quality. Reducing inputs, reusing inputs wherever possible and maximizing the recycling of outputs.