Understanding Agribusiness Based Advisory Services: Research, Report and Workshops


In 2018, KIT Royal Tropical Institute, Agriterra, Moyee Coffee, and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform came together to try and better understand the functioning of agribusiness-based Advisory Services. The partnership focused on companies buying or selling agricultural produce, equipment and goods. In addition, the study also included farmer cooperatives operating as an agribusiness.

Agribusiness-based advisory services (ABAS) have received little attention in the study of advisory services. KIT, Agriterra, Moyee Coffee, and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform therefore joined hands in a learning trajectory that studied advisory service delivery to small-scale farmers by agribusinesses. They looked into questions such as:

  • How do agribusinesses organise the collection, processing and use of feedback from farmers to improve advisory services?
  • How is long term sustainability of advisory services achieved?
  • What are key factors contribute to adoption and non-adoption by farmers and how can these be addressed?
  • What are the development outcomes of advisory services at farmer level?

Research and Report

The research and findings into Agribusiness-Based Advisory Services resulted in work published in Understanding Agribusiness-based Advisory Services. The report covers 29 case studies to gain insight and understanding into the best practices among Agribusiness Based Advisory Services around the globe.

Thirteen countries were selected in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa to provide coverage of major aspects of of the sector. To start with the report addresses scientific questions around methodology, case-study selection, and information use. The main-body covers practical, sector focused questions about the organisation of agribusiness-based advisory services, costs, farmer feedback, and the use of information and communication technology—and more. Finally, conclusions are drawn about the sector and how it functions, providing a useful oversight for anyone in the field.

Additionally the team also produced a four page executive summary to provide an overview of the work—an entry point for the 31 page full report.


In June 2018 KIT staff led a workshop in The Hague, Netherlands, which covered the findings of the recent work published in the report. 

KIT presented the study’s approaches and main findings. In addition, speakers of three case studies shared their successes and challenges in running advisory services:

  • Mark Kauw, Impact Officer at Moyee Coffee
  • Rutger Groot, Chair of EWS Knowledge Transfer Foundation of East West Seed
  • Bertken de Leede, Business Advisor at Agriterra