Agribusiness-based advisory services: A collaborative learning trajectory

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We are excited to announce that KIT, Agriterra, DADTCO, Moyee and the Food & Business Knowledge Platform have joined forces to start a collaborative learning trajectory into private models for advisory service delivery to small-scale farmers.

In many developing countries, private sector actors are highly engaged in providing different types of services to small-scale farmers. Far from being an easy task, agribusiness-based advisory services face various challenges, which not only impact on the companies themselves, but also on their ability to contribute to inclusive agricultural development. For instance, how to raise farmers’ adoption rates of new agricultural practices? How to learn and adapt company strategies based on farmer feedback? And what are the most viable financial models for service delivery?

Many of these questions are not very different from those faced by public advisory services. Yet, the answer will be different for agribusinesses – not least because they operate under competitive pressures and advisory services must fit within their business models. This also dictates that general solutions will not suffice and a tailor-made approach is needed.

We think that this calls for a collaborative learning trajectory to jointly co-create knowledge by building on the different experiences of the organisations involved. Our learning trajectory entails a series of well-designed learning events, supported by targeted case studies, to find answers to the key challenges facing private sector advisory services. Within the time period between September 2017 and March 2018, we aim to achieve the following:

  1. Assess the key challenges for agribusiness-based advisory services;
  2. Generate concrete operational strategies to make such services more effective;
  3. Share the main insights with the wider agricultural development community.

If you are an agribusiness interested in joining our learning trajectory, please send an email to Laurens van Veldhuizen, l.v.veldhuizen@kit.nl. We welcome new members!