The Outgrower Development strategy is based on modern business principles adapted to suit conditions in rural Africa. The methodologies follow international best practice and build on practice developed in similar successful projects in Swaziland and South Africa. The aim for the outgrowers is also to comply with the “BONSUCRO production Standards”.
The core strategy to be employed is empowerment through training. Agro EcoEnergy is committed to a people centered approach where investment and training is focused on people to grow themselves. Ordinary people from rural communities are enabled to believe in themselves and their fellows; they learn how to organize themselves into effective working groups to do business; they learn to understand their farms as business enterprises; they learn to make decisions for themselves, always working towards creating and operating successful businesses.
They register companies, prepare business plans, environmental and operating plans that enable them to agree cane supply agreements with Agro EcoEnergy and negotiate loan agreements with commercial banks.
Using the proceeds from the loan and through a tender process, the people will appoint contractors to construct their farms and install their irrigation equipment. They will then after a lot of training and major support setup, run and operate their own affairs as any other commercial farmer or modern business does.
All decisions are taken by the people themselves, for example, the size of the farms and the number of people in each business group. The project provides the training to ensure that these decisions are good ones.