FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
The gradual move from staple production towards high-value horticulture crops is an important contributor to employment opportunities in Africa. Production is however challenging because fruits and vegetables in most cases require a higher degree of care, post harvest infrastructure and more advanced understanding of the market. This is compounded by inadequate knowledge and technology of production, over concentration of the little available extension service and government support on staples and unreliable seed supply. DW aims to use its business to bridge the identified gaps and mobilize farmers to produce for the very significant local market primarily and then to serve the export market as a second stage strategy.
DW Agriculture is currently producing sweet corn, leafy vegetables, dragon fruit, ginger, passion fruit, watermelons, pepper, tomatoes, melon cantalope, eggplant, papaya and French beans amongst others. We however continue to adjust according to market requirements.
MARKET–LED APPROACH TO PLANNING AND PRODUCTION
Marketing is a critical aspect of horticulture, as it requires the market to be concluded even before planting. We employ a multifaceted approach to reach the consumers by creating relationships with various market participants including general markets, fruit and vegetable markets and malls. We strive to understand and respond to their requirements.
We have put in place:
A robust farm produce pipeline
High standards of quality and packaging of a wide variety of farm produce
Efficient crop production systems and procedures which deliver high ROI
Marketing and sales incentives to customers- low prices and high quality delivered with consistency
We have firmed up supply chain arrangements to the open market, which is able to buy wholesale and to absorb various qualities of products. We are also marketing greenhouse vegetables through retail outlets located at the greenhouse farm gate near large markets, including long term orders.
Our team consistently makes business calls with wholesale buyers in order to develop and maintain market access for our produce. We continuously assess new trends in order to respond to changing consumer tastes and preferences.
We sort, grade and package the product as required by each wholesaler and ensure timely delivery of high quality farm produce & services.
DW Agriculture and our smallholder partners are targeting the specialized fresh market. Due to the perishability of the crop, having huge volumes without proper storage and transportation infrastructure and market access can force the grower to sell at rock bottom prices. Therefore, managing scale and volumes is critical to enabling and harnessing the required value addition options including cleaning, sorting and packaging while constantly adapting to the fresh market dynamics without losing focus on profitability.
DW and smallholder partners work with a well thought out production protocol and a marketing plan based on sound scientific and business principles. The protocol encompasses:
Identification of market
Choices of crop and varieties based on market and cultivation conditions
Allocation of land in proportion to market demand
Reliable input supply pipeline
Development and internalization of growing protocol on a season by season basis
Planting, maintenance and harvest in line with agreed protocol
Storage, transport and market
Maintaining Global GAP standards record keeping is critical at every stage of our operations.