CARE Knows How to Make Pedal-powered Profitable Partnerships

CARE Knows How to Make Pedal-powered Profitable Partnerships

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Undeveloped transportation infrastructure in Zambia is a major constraint to improved productivity for the estimated 800,000 smallholder farmers living in remote, rural areas of the country.

Without transportation, these farmers either have to pay inflated prices for local goods, or travel up to 120km to access affordable seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and other farming essentials.

CARE introduced a market-based approach to link 91,000 smallholder farmers with a network of 500 rural agro-dealers who pedal seeds and other agricultural goods at fair prices: bikes.

Equipped with Zambikes, agro dealers are able to expand their client base, while farmers are able buy the resources and tools they need to improve productivity.

The profits from these initiatives have enabled agro-dealers to increase their inventories, cover school fees for their children and to purchase food during periods of food insecurity.  

One participant in the Zambike pilots is Edward Lwabila, from Mumbwa in the Central Province.

“Before the Zambike Model, I would service an average of 10 customers per month. Then when I started using the Zambike model for my sales, the number of farmers that I serviced shot up to 74. I later on did a mapping of where farmers were located, such that as at March I had reached out to a total of 220 farmers,” he noted.

Before using the Zambike model, my sales only stood at USD 70, but my sales are now at USD 2,000 per month.

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An agro-dealer transporting maize seed in Mumbwa district using his Zambike.