AgriGRADE begins with a thorough understanding of the local agricultural sector. The initial scoping leads to a segmentation of the existing cooperatives, so each of them can be met where they are with the proper training for their level.

In most developing countries, there are four levels of agribusinesses:

Level 4 Top performing farmer organizations
Level 3 Advanced farmer organizations
Level 2 Advancing farmer organizations
Level 1 Informal, emerging farmer organizations


AgriGRADE works to graduate agribusinesses up to level four and beyond. Over the course of a five-year program, AgriGRADE increases the number of organizations at the higher levels by providing training and coaching to graduate the existing agribusinesses.

4 : Top Performing
3 : Advanced
2 : Advancing
1 : Basic

Year 1

In most developing countries, the majority of agribusinesses are in level one; they are informal and often struggle to connect to markets or finance. Level four agribusinesses, on the other hand, are very rare. The lack of professionalism among these agribusinesses leads to challenges for all stakeholders in the agricultural sector. These include insufficient rural development, minimal impact from training, high risks for finance, and unreliable supply chains.

To create a stronger agricultural sector, it is important to train agribusinesses so they can improve. For the most effective training, it is crucial to meet the agribusinesses at their level. The training must be targeted and specified to meet the agribusiness’s specific needs. After the agribusinesses receive this training, they begin to improve, and the pyramid begins to shift.

Year 3

After a few years of the AgriGRADE concept being applied, the agribusinesses can progress up to higher levels. The amount of level one agribusinesses decreases as they professionalize, and the amount of level four agribusinesses increases. This occurs thanks to the tailored training conducted to raise the level of each agribusiness. As the agribusinesses become stronger, so too does the entire agricultural sector at large.

While there has been some improvement, there is still further to go. More training can continue to support agribusinesses to become more professional. At this point, some of the agribusinesses may be ready for a different type of training based on their new level. It is also possible to report on the program’s progress by looking at the shift in the pyramid.

Year 5

By the end of a five-year program, significant impact is visible. While level one agribusinesses still exist, they are no longer the most prevalent type. The number of level four agribusinesses has also significantly increased. This leads to many benefits for all stakeholders in the agricultural sector. These include improved rural economies, increased impact on SDGs, lower financial due diligence costs, and improved sourcing.

Now that more agribusinesses are professional, it is possible to link some of them to finance. These agribusinesses will then be able to invest in their business and further improve. It is also possible to link the agribusinesses to other opportunities, such as larger markets. This leads to a strong, professional, and thriving agricultural sector and the associated benefits for all involved stakeholders.

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