Our goal is to contribute to rural development by buying 50% of the maize and soy we need from local farmers
At full production capacity, AIF needs 28,000 metric tonnes (MT) of maize and 12,000MT of soybean annually. To ensure food safety, we only buy the highest quality maize and soybean. AIF has a target to buy at least 50% of its maize and soy locally.
By buying maize and soy locally, we aim to improve farmers’ livelihoods and contribute to rural development. When the 50% local sourcing target is met, AIF will inject more than USD 6 million into the rural economy annually.
Buying large volumes of high quality maize in Rwanda has been challenging for several reasons. In 2017, El Niño disrupted rainfall, which in turn led to lower yields and high levels of aflatoxin. Despite these challenges, we bought 4,520MT of maize in Rwanda in 2017. 78% of this was bought directly from farmers and cooperatives and the remaining 22% from traders. Despite our efforts to buy locally, most maize was bought from Uganda, Zambia and South Africa.
In 2017, we created a team of field agents whose task is to establish rural collection centres where Rwandan farmers can sell their produce without having to transport it over large distances. The same year, we also initiated partnerships with Kumwe Logistics, World Vision Rwanda, the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), WFP and One Acre Fund – all geared towards improving post-harvest handling and guaranteeing Rwandan farmers offtake. Currently, AIF – with support from its partners – offers thousands of farmers free transport, fair prices and free post-harvest services.
Our post-harvest interventions are delivering promising results; our field rejections for aflatoxin contaminated maize have dropped from 90% in season 2017A to 43% in season 2017B to 0% in season 2017C. In 2018, together with our partners, we are significantly scaling up post-harvest interventions to reach even more farmers.
Of maize sourced from Rwanda alone in 2017
Rwandan farmers sold their maize to AIF and thus received free transport and post-harvest services in 2017.
Of all maize procured in Rwanda was bought directly from farmers and cooperatives in 2017