Assessment of the Effectiveness of Agro-dealer Development Activities Conducted by USAID-AIMS Project in Mozambique: Agricultural Input Markets Strengthening (AIMS) III: June 2015.

Agro-dealer development was one of the key components of the USAID-funded Agricultural Input Market Strengthening (AIMS) project implemented by the International Fertilizer Develpoment Center (IFDC) in Mozambique. AIMS focused on creating an extensive network of input suppliers/retailers, equipping them with business and technical knowledge and strengthening their capacity through credit, information and policy to meet the demand. Since 2006, AIMS has directly trained 201 agro-dealers covering both Beira and Nacala corridors. AIMS-IFDC staff in Mozambique conducted a rapid impact assessment of agro-dealers during July-September 2014. The purpose of this assessment was to profile and document the contribution of the AIMS project toward establishing sustained agricultural input networks and providing inputs accessible to smallholders in Mozambique. This was done on a limited scale by comparing a few key parameters with the baseline conducted in 2006 before the start of the program, and subsequently by a detailed survey assessment among dealers who were trained by the USAID-AIMS project vs. those who were not trained but are operating agro-input businesses in the project areas. In general, the agro-dealers have observed an increased demand for agricultural inputs among farmers in the last five years. Sixty percent of the sample in the survey (both trained and non-trained) said their businesses have doubled in the last three to four years. Demand for improved varieties of maize and beans have gone up along with use of fertilizers (NPK and urea) for these crops. Distances traveled by farmers to access farm inputs have reduced substantially with improved dealer networks. There were significant differences among the constraints faced by trained vs. non-trained agro-dealers in expanding their business operations.