Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Farmer Organization Support Centre in Africa (FOSCA)

FOSCA was established by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in 2010, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation (BMGF) in order to develop the managerial, organizational and technical capacity of farmer organizations (FOs) by linking them with service providers (SPs) that focus on demand driven and income-enhancing services. FOSCA is expected to contribute to the overall AGRA vision of increasing smallholder incomes and livelihoods through effective FOs capable of delivering on the needs of their members by:
  1. identifying and engaging a robust network of FOs in target countries and identifying income-enhancing needs of their members
  2. Increasing and improving the supply of relevant services available to FOs to respond to their needs
  3. Linking FOs with service providers and private sector players in value-chains to enhance their capacity for effective service delivery (market-driven income gains) for their members
  4. Evaluate outcomes, document lessons, and build the knowledge base on FOs that would promote learning and best practice in Sub Sahara Africa (SSA).
Mercy Karanja works with extension and farmer organizations at
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and guides the strategy and
grants for the foundation’s work with small holder farmers.
Expected Outcomes
During this initial four-year program, FOSCA plans to:
  1. Reach 220,000 smallholder farmers with income and production improvements services
  2. Improve the capacities of at least 70 FOs based on a set of criteria around gender, market-orientation, smallholder membership, and income generation.
  3. Expand the smallholder membership of 50% of the target FOs by 25-50% during the project term.
Target Countries in First Phase
In order to maximize opportunities for collaboration and synergies, FOs prioritized by FOSCA are partners or potential partners in existing AGRA and Bill Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) grants. The initial pilot activities will be those working with World Food Program’s (WFP) Purchase for Progress (P4P), AGRA’s Markets Access and Soil Health Programs.

Geographic Coverage:
FOSCA will focus on the 4 Priority One countries of AGRA in this initial Phase:
  • Ghana, Mali, Mozambique and Tanzania
FOSCA will gradually expand its activities to other AGRA target countries as opportunities to collaborate emerge:
  • Burkina Faso, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda and Zambia (Partnership with Swedish Cooperation),
  • Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria (Partnership with BMGF)

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