Towards demand-driven services? The role of feedback mechanisms in agribusiness-based advisory services for smallholder farmers


Verena Bitzer, Anne Rappoldt, Laurens van Veldhuizen, Remco Mur

In many developing countries, agribusinesses are highly engaged in providing services to smallholder farmers, including agricultural advisory services or extension. As private service providers depend on farmers’ choices, eliciting farmer feedback and learning from farmers’ demands are important.

However, the phenomenon of agribusiness-based advisory services has received relatively little attention in the study of advisory services. Little is known on whether and how agribusinesses operationalise the idea of demand-driven service provision. This is a critical oversight as agribusinesses are increasingly present as service providers and hence shape the prevailing service landscape for smallholder farmers.

Based on a study of 29 agribusinesses providing advisory services to farmers in developing countries, this paper explores the extent to which agribusinesses provide demand-driven services based on farmer feedback and how they integrate and learn from such feedback.