Innovation for Impact: Going the Last Mile

Your support for innovators makes a real and lasting change.

Getrude Nalishebo is growing her own business by helping local farmers to grow a more hopeful future for themselves and their families. As a Farm Business Advisor (FBA) in southern Zambia, she provides an essential link between farmers in remote areas and suppliers in commercial centers.

Smallholders - farmers that use less than two hectares of land - represent 70 percent of the world’s poor. With the right access to techniques and technologies, these smallholders could become successful businesses. 

Often farmers buy their products from a vendor who also sells things like toothpaste and cooking oil, and doesn’t know much about safety or proper use. The instructions printed on the packaging for imported agricultural chemicals might be in a language they don’t speak. This is where an FBA helps.

FBAs go door-to-door, field-to-field, supporting small-scale farmers to grow crops that can be sold for attractive returns. They earn commissions from local businesses that previously only sold their products in towns. FBAs bring improved products and practices to rural areas, offering farmers an opportunity to grow and sell more.

Thanks to your support, iDE has been able to train over 400 FBAs like Getrude, serving more than 110,000 smallholder farmers across five provinces in Zambia.  

Local farmers like Kyola Siamilimo have experienced the benefits. “Whenever we have a problem, we go to the FBA,” she says. For the first time, Kyola has ready access to sound advice on maximizing yields, controlling pests and finding better markets for her produce.

Serving farmers like Kyola gives Getrude great satisfaction. And she knows that she will be around to serve many more farmers because of the new knowledge and business opportunities she now has. “Even though iDE leaves me, I will stand on my own because I have seen the benefits”

Your donation enables more FBAs like Getrude to create new opportunities for farmers and their families.

Your support for innovation makes an impact. Donate today.



Loans — FBAs offer installment payments for purchases or act as a loan broker for microfinance credit providers.
Output Marketing — FBAs provide access to market price information, and some help their clients transport their crops to the market.
Services — They provide advice on land preparation, planting & harvesting, soil nutrients, and pest & disease control; as well as installation and maintenance of equipment.
Inputs & Equipment — FBAs sell farm equipment (drip irrigation kits, pumps, tillers, and seeders) and inputs (seeds, fertilizer, pest control).