The project’s overall achievement enabled smallholder formers (SHF) to produce vegetables throughout the year and independent of the rainy season. This increased the competitiveness of SHF who adopted the project’s incentives and services. The increase in production and productivity enabled other commercial actors (retailers, off-takers, input and service suppliers) in the value chains to profit as well. Traditional production systems are subjugated to climatic conditions and the water availability for irrigation. The low investment capacity of SHF limits the growth of their business.
The project Horti-Sempre enabled a critical mass of SHF who will serve as examples for others to follow. The business models developed have started to take shape and create their own dynamics. With the dissemination of technological solutions, e.g., the genetic quality of horticultural species, agronomic management practices, irrigation and protected production infrastructure, low-cost techniques for harvesting, post-harvesting and packaging of vegetables, and marketing strategies, the project invested in the self-replication of information sharing and adaptation of new, low-cost technologies in rural communities. Undoubtedly, the success and sustainability of Horti-Sempre will depend on the investment capacities of SHF and the demand for quality products.
The project has promoted the market linkages between SHF and commercial actors in the value chains, which led to the establishment of long-term and trusted relationships. Most traders or buyers in the system are informal (and itinerant in many cases), which exposes SHF to unmanageable uncertainties. The project guided SHFs to produce what the market was demanding and meet the conditions required in each market segment. The supply-demand match was tested in pilots brokering business deals between emerging/commercial producers and aggregators with wholesalers, supermarkets, and hotels.
The experiences with the supply-demand pilots attracted institutional actors and larger companies interested in promoting and leading commercial exchange platforms for the horticultural sector. Thus, Horti-Sempre triggered the Provincial Secretariats' interest in Industry and Commerce and of Economic Activities (SPIC and SPAE). They expanded and scaled up to commercial events initially piloted by the project. The company Market Access, specialised in the organisation of product exhibition fairs, joined in by taking co-responsibility for the organisation of commercial events for the horticultural sector.
Business fairs and roundtables have been organised, which led to negotiation for the supply of products in greater quantity and better quality than in previous years. It is presumed that under the leadership of the company and the public institutions, these commercial meetings will be held on an annual basis, facilitating access, expansion, and market penetration among the actors of the system.