Mahesh Patel

“As farmers grow, we grow.”

— Mahesh Patel

An agribusiness leader and philanthropist, Mahesh Patel is credited with building one of the largest and fastest-growing agriculture supply chain companies in Sub-Saharan Africa by successfully linking millions of smallholder African farmers to a diverse pool of global buyers. Over the years, Mahesh has built several profitable impact ventures combining his passion for uplifting farmers through better opportunities with his strong business acumen.

ETC Group (ETG)
Sustainable Development in Africa

Mahesh Patel advocates a fundamental mindset shift: seeing smallholders as business partners rather than aid recipients. This was the reason he established the Empowering Farmers Foundation in 2013. He believes that true sustainability in African agriculture is achieved when smallholders are empowered to thrive. This approach not only leads to individual prosperity but also uplifts entire communities and the agricultural sector as a whole.

Through EFF’s work, it becomes clear that partnerships, empowerment, and market integration are the pillars of sustainable development in Africa. Collaborative efforts among governments, NGOs, international organisations, and the private sector are essential. Empowering smallholders with resources, knowledge, and market access is the key to lasting change.

Agricultural Productivity: Enhance agricultural productivity through sustainable and climate-smart practices, improved access to quality seeds, fertilisers, and modern technologies, and training for small-scale farmers. b. Irrigation and Water Management: Promote water conservation techniques, efficient irrigation systems, and integrated water resource management to ensure a reliable water supply for agriculture. c. Diversification: Encourage crop diversification to enhance food availability and household nutrition by promoting the cultivation of smart food crops and high-value crops for increased income generation. d. Storage and Distribution: Strengthen post-harvest management and improve storage infrastructure to reduce household food losses; and promote efficient aggregation systems for improved inputs distribution and access to markets. e. Market Linkages & Financial Services: Support the establishment or farmer cooperatives/ organisations for effective produce aggregation and market linkages, and provide technical assistance to enable small-scale producers to access domestic and international markets and financial services, fostering income generation and economic growth. f. Skills Training and Capacity Building: Facilitate agronomic training, entrepreneurship development, and business management skills to enhance the capacity of smallholder farmers and communities to generate sustainable incomes.
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