Madison Ayer

Ashoka Fellow
Kenya,
Fellow Since 2011
Farm Shop

Citation

This profile was prepared when Madison Ayer was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Madison saw that the success of farmers at the grassroots depends in no small part on the ability of a network to consistently provide them with timely, relevant, and quality inputs at an affordable price. To do this, he saw that agro-dealers had to be aggregated, modernized, and transformed into professionally-managed businesses. There are approximately 10,000 agro-dealers all around Kenya. Madison began by selecting those with the most potential to benefit from improved management systems. With the best candidates in hand, he created systems and processes for inventory management, financial management, quality control, performance measurement, and supply management. The idea was to transform the agro-dealer outlets into professionally run businesses and leverage that to enable them to access financing from banks as well as to attain high level contracts with input manufacturers. Professionalizing them also means giving them access to technology, both hardware and software, to allow them to operate more efficiently. Working with Farm Shop, each agro-dealer will get a computer, Internet access, power back-up, professional accounting software, inventory management software, as well as supply chain management software.

The second element that Madison saw as absolutely critical is the ability of the now professionally run network of agro-dealers to aggregate their orders. He therefore has created a supply chain management system that is centrally managed at Farm Shop. Through this centralized system, Farm Shop is able to track the inventory levels of different products at each one of the agro-dealers. With the ability to pool this information in one place, Farm Shop places aggregated bulk orders to different suppliers. This ensures that each agro-dealer keeps optimum stock levels of a variety of product lines at all times and that they are able to get these products at lower prices due to economies of scale. The benefit of reduced prices is ultimately passed down to farmers who will also be able to get their inputs at more affordable prices.

Agro-dealers are the closest point of contact to farmers in the input supply chain and have the best understanding of farmers’ needs. Farm Shop will leverage this unique position to actively shape the way agricultural inputs are marketed, transforming agro-dealers into knowledge brokers that capture and transmit information from farmers to input manufacturers and suppliers. By closing the information gap between farmers and input manufacturers, agro-dealers will be playing an important role in making the entire input supply chain more progressive and ultimately more successful.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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