Masko Agribusiness and Merchandise stocks and sells farm inputs to smallholder farmers. The business currently has five input shops in the Sawla-Tuna Kalba District, with a customer base of 200 farmers, of whom about 45% are women. Each farmer cultivates an average of 0.75 acres. Masko educates smallholder farmers on modern farming practices, such as intense tillage, the use of inorganic fertilisers and chemical pest control. The partnership with the MADE programme started in 2017, and Masko has since aggregated 4,000 MT of produce.
- Recruited, trained and deployed five Business Development Advisors (BDAs) and one BDA manager to assist in identifying and providing solutions to technical problems, such as crop diseases, developing new crops and more efficient methods for growing crops.
- Established four sales points in an effort to expand the customer base and make the inputs readily accessible to farmers.
- Organised sensitisation forums at designated sales points.
- Provided demonstrations and training using the model farm concept.
- Facilitated and strengthened commercial partnerships with other enterprises, such as 18 April.
- Increased access to inputs.
- Increased understanding of good agricultural practices and proper application of agro-inputs.
- Increased stock and sales due to quicker turnover of stock, which brought in more revenue to the business.
- Introduced enhanced record keeping, which improved financial forecasting and planning for the business and smallholders.
- Increased maize yields from 3 to 10 bags (200 kg) per acre.