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Success Story-Psaltry International: promoting rural transformation through service linkages

With support of UKaid-funded West Africa Food Markets Programme, Psaltry International has developed a fully inclusive business model with smallholder farmers communities and has demonstrated that community focused businesses have the capacity to transform agricultural value chains.

Psaltry’s Business Model

Psaltry International Limited located in Oyo State, Nigeria, was established in 2005 and produces high quality cassava starch and vitamin fortified gari. The company currently works with 5,000 farm families comprising 2,000 outgrowers, providing them with services such as training, extension, access to credit and market for their produce.

The company is providing value chain services to the famers including supply of pro- vitamin ‘A’ cassava stems developed by International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and distributed in conjunction with IFDC for cultivation on 5,000 hectares of land to feed the gari processing factory.

WAFM’s Contribution

Psaltry is situated among 12 farming communities in Oyo State with a population of about 15,000 people. Even though there is great potential for agricultural production, the lack of basic infrastructure, access to inputs and markets limited negatively affected farming until

The company successfully applied for a WAFM grant, to provide value chain services to smallholder farmers involved in the company’s Cassava Nucleus Estate Development. Un- der the project, Psaltry provides input financing, extension services, farm business development, assured market for farmer’s produce, and transportation arrangements to farmers. Psaltry has, with WAFM’s support, introduced the processing and marketing of pro- vitamin ‘A’ cassava roots from its farms and those of smallholder farmers into gari, 50% of which will eventually be sold to customers in Niger.

From 500 outgrower farmers cultivating about 2,000 hectares, the company is working towards its target of 5,000 hectares involving 5,000 farmers by the end of planned WAFM involvement in 2019. The project would also provide social amenities such as water facilities, schools, health centers, training centers and various empowerment programmes for the farmers.

Key results to date

  • Additional 1,852 smallholder farmers receiving services from Psaltry as a result of WAFM’s grant
  • Increase of farmer profits by 124% on average
  • Around 80% of smallholder farmers changed their behavior following the training on Good Agricultural Practices.

“Incomes are improving not only for the smallholder farmers, but also for people associated with the value chain. The character of the community is changing for the better.”  Busari Duada, Local Chief of Alayide Community on whose land the company is situated

Some initial results

The WAFM grant helped Psaltry to establish a modern gari processing factory in the community to process vitamin ‘A’ fortified cassava into gari. Water, supplied from a borehole, is checked constantly for quality and waste from factory is recycled to water vegetables gardens and sediments used for animal feeding.

The WAFM grant also enabled Psaltry to provide services to an additional 1,852 smallholder farmers. These include mechanizati on services, inputs supply and training. It also helped Psaltry to establish modern farm estates, bringing many farmers into one location, and facilitating access to land by women and youth. Farmers are increasing the sizes of their farms to take advantage of the market opportunities that Psaltry provides while training on proper agronomic practices and use of high-yielding varieties. Farmer profits have in- creased by 124% on average according Ifeolu Bangboye, the Agriculture Officer at Psaltry.

The training and extension services provided by PIL have contributed to changes in farm practices in the community. According to Gbohalan Taye, a farmer in Ogun Estate, about 80% of them changed their behavior following the training and the supply of improved varieties received from Psaltry.

In addition to on-farm extension, Psaltry also airs a radio programme to educate the farmers on best agricultural practices, and facili- tates smallholder farmer access to loans without the need for a guarantor.

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The impact can be seen both at the farmer and at the community level. Farmers are increasing the sizes of their farms to take ad- vantage of the market opportunities that Psaltry provides, while training on good agronomic practices and use of high -yielding varieties is leading to increased yields and incomes.

At the community level, impacts can be seen in terms of infrastructure, water supply, roads and education. According to Busari Duada, the Local Chief of Alayide Community, prior to Psaltry’s arrival there were only 4 trucks in the community. There are now 250 trucks and 50 tractors. In the same period rents have increased from £1.5 per month for a room to £5.5 per month. From building mu d houses, the standard is now concrete houses. The community’s water supply, roads and education system have also transformed.

The Psaltry project contributes to improvements in community livelihoods that the WAFM programme ultimately seeks. Through the Psaltry model, smallholder farmers have the opportunity not only to improve productivity and production, but also incomes, through direct sales into an assured market. The company encourages the farmers to retain some of the produce for their own consumption and food security.

The skills and extension services provided by Psaltry is also transferable to the production of other food crops to further strengthen food security. Selling into an assured, stable market has also led to assured incomes and is strengthening the resilience of the farmers through the additional assets they are acquiring in the community. In future, the model will sell into cross border markets with Niger and others in the region.

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