Sorghum Pioneer Agencies (SPA) is a cereal aggregation business located in Mukothima, Tharaka Nithi County, upper eastern region, Kenya. The business began operation in 2009 as a broker of cereals for distant buyers who needed grains from the region. SPA operates as a one stop shop contracting over 4,900 low-income smallholder farmers to grow cereals and grains and buy back their produce. The company also offers other services to farmers such as farm inputs (certified seeds and fertilizers), ploughing, planting, threshing aggregation and bulking and other agricultural extension services. It has a long-term contract with the East African Breweries (EABL) to produce, aggregate and supply sorghum.
SPA’s business model is in response to numerous smallholder challenges and an attempt to create opportunities for them within its business context by focusing on four main areas as indicated in its conceptual framework: Social- Working with a large number of resource-strained smallholder actors within a value- chain supply system. Economic-SPA employs a commercialized model to service provision and supply of grains to markets. Operational-SPA seeks to achieve long-term operational impact through vertically integrating key value chain services in support of farmers, agronomic technology provision, input supply, harvesting and threshing services, finance and access to markets. Environmental-The aggregator supports conservation agriculture, crop rotation for nitrogen fixation and fruit tree agro-forestation.