Agri-ProFocus (APF) is a partnership that promotes farmer entrepreneurship in developing countries. Our founding members are Dutch organisations who promote farmer entrepreneurship. Each member has an extensive network in developing countries. Agri-ProFocus is the sum of all of these networks. By coordinating activities, exchanging information and ideas and undertaking joint action we aspire to improve existing linkages and provide a better service to farmer entrepreneurs in the South. The network is supported by a team of dedicated facilitators, who are specialised in improving cooperation between organisations. The facilitators are based in the Netherlands and in 12 countries in Africa and in Indonesia. The APF facilitators connect organisations and people who may not have worked with each other before. They are experts in exchanging information and in creating new projects that strengthen farmers’ organisations. Concrete activities range from brokering between a processing company and maize producers in Rwanda, providing joint policy recommendations on agriculture and climate to the Dutch government and facilitating a business contest for cooperatives in Ethiopia.
“Effective cooperation between Agri-ProFocus members and partners which provides coherent and demand-driven support to enhance the capacity of producer organisations in developing farmer entrepreneurship within the context of poverty reduction.” Essentially, the mission of the Agri-ProFocus partnership can be summarised as follows: “to deliver more and better support to producer organisations for farmer entrepreneurship”. Agri-ProFocus members mobilise and pool funds, knowledge, skills and expertise in areas relevant to producer organisations, such as value chain development, rural finance, and organisational and institutional capacity development. Jointly, the network offers more comprehensive packages of support. Key actors of implementation are the professionals of the Agri-ProFocus member organisations and their partners, and the leaders of producer organisations. At the same time, cooperation is stimulated between producer organisations and NGOs/ private sector enterprises, both in developing countries and at the international level.
The global food crisis, climate change and the fast growing world population remind us of the importance of the 500 million smallholder entrepreneurs feeding the world. Agri-ProFocus envisions a world in which farmers areable to provide food for their family, increase their income and meet the growing demand for food in a sustainable manner. In order to meet this demand, an enabling environment should be created so that farmers can expand their business. Coordinated support in production and marketing will help farmers. On top of this, a strong focus on value addition and sustainable local market development is needed. Agri-Hubs will play an important role in linking services, knowledge and markets to farmers and rural entrepreneurs.