Tradeline hits the road with local farmers
Market access for local farmers
Since 2009, Tradeline has been backing SMEs in the agricultural sector. The company supports small producers and increases their access to the market. They do this in three different ways:
- Through consulting on business development;
- By offering micro-credits to small players;
- Through the Local Buy programme that puts small farmers and SMEs in contact with distributors, sellers, consumers and exporters.
A strong local market for Malawi
Malawi is an agricultural country. Small farmers are behind the vast majority of the agricultural products. For small farmers with limited resources for packaging, storage and transport, it is not easy to bring their harvests to market. This results in small producers being stuck with the leftovers, all while the major supermarket chains, searching for reliable supplies of quality products, often import from South Africa. It’s vitally important that small farmers are integrated into the market.
Until now, Tradeline has primarily functioned as a consultancy organisation. The strategy for 2019–2023 was recently revised with a more commercial role and a mission for the company itself.
Tradeline and Exchange will collaborate on:
- Setting up a distribution centre for sorting, packaging and marketing fruit and vegetables.
- Facilitating the market access of the farmer organisationsthat perform the marketing of the harvests. That may be done by having access to more storage space for dry foods and acting as a broker, organising delayed sales.
- Strengthening the micro-financing body Tradeline so that they are better aimed at the right target group of small producers.
The ultimate goal of Tradeline is to strengthen the local market. This will make them less dependent on the import of fruit and vegetables from South Africa. The capacity is there. It is important to invest in knowledge, transport and storage capacity.
Flemish government/partners (REO and BRS)
Tradeline is a partner of the Flemish government’s bilateral collaboration. For the realisation of the three important goals of the growth programme, there is an intensive collaboration with Nikolas Bosscher, representative of the Flemish government in Malawi.
The Exchange team includes experts in micro-financing and professionals from the fruit-and-vegetable-auction sector. There has been a collaboration set up with REO Veiling, Flemish pioneer in the setup of a cooperative auction structure, and BRS (Belgische Raiffeissenstichting), an expert in micro-financing. For the cherry on top, the Malawian agricultural minister visited REO Veiling in March 2018.
This very strong triumvirate of experts will raise Tradeline to a higher level.