Shepherd Distributors Cooperative (SDC) represents the interest of individuals and organisations who buy farm produce or products from Africa to sell to consumers in local and international markets.
SFC’s establishment was instigated by the challenges the marketers confront in Africa to buy farm produce. These include a lack of quality farm produce, traceability of the product, and price instability, etc. Some of the reasons for these could be attributed to a few factors such as a lack of labourers and harvesters to harvest crops timely and efficiently; poor crop handling practice during harvesting and transportation; lack of storage and processing facilities; a lack of electricity to process the crops; etc.
- To provide access to quality farm produce on a regularly basis.
- To empower farmers to produce quality farm produce through the promotion of best farming practice, storage and preservation methods.
SDC will not only source quality food produce from African farmers but will promote training for them in best farming practice and crop handling, storage and preservation methods.
SDC members will have exclusive access to online resources including bidding on farm produce, educational materials, training programmes, consultancy opportunities, blogs, etc.
Partnership with local farmers
In the pilot phase, SDC will partner with Shepherd Farmer’s Cooperative (SFC) located in Kuta, Osun State to gain exclusive access to farm produce. SFC comprises of 121 farmers with access to over 3000 acres of farmland. SFC members produce cash crops (palm kernels, cassava, yams, cashew nut, etc); food crops (vegetables, maize, cucumber, fruits, beans, soya beans, etc); fishery (cat fish and tilapia); and poultry (chickens, turkey). In the near future, SFC will be located across the Nigerian Federation giving SDC access to more quality farm produce.
Partnership with other stakeholders
SDC will seek partnership with relevant government departments at State and Federal levels. It will seek partnership with the Lincolnshire Coop (www.linconlshire.coop) and membership of the International Cooperative Alliance (www.ica.coop).
Member’s contribution, services, consultancy, fundraising activities and external grants.
Financial and Social Returns
The relationship between SDC and SFC will yield financial returns for members and wider social returns in the region. It will reduce post-harvest loss, make farm produce available regularly and enhance the livelihood of the farmers. It will also transform Kuta into an agricultural model village with social amenities including good roads, electricity, clean water, schools, jobs, and health facility.