Creating an R&D Coalition

Location: Zambia
Client: TechnoServe
Sector: Agriculture
IDinsight services: Comprehensive literature review

Background

Contractual relationships between smallholder farmers and agribusiness companies are often tenuous in nature, with both parties often barely making enough to make the scheme worthwhile. To address the challenges of running outgrower schemes with smallholder farmers, TechnoServe is seeking to develop a research and development coalition of agribusiness companies. The members of this R&D coalition would commit to piloting new innovations in smallholder farming and would agree to share results with the rest of the coalition in an effort to develop a set of industry best practices. The goal is that by engendering a culture of innovation, agribusinesses may improve the efficacy of their outgrower schemes, and by extension, the incomes of the smallholder farmers they employ.

IDinsight Service

To assist TechnoServe in creating this R&D coalition, IDinsight developed a list of interventions that could be feasibly implemented and evaluated within a two-year timeframe. Interventions were selected that demonstrated a potential for success and were backed by prior research. IDinsight also developed documents that provide preliminary overviews of each intervention, that outline the key considerations to consider when outlining an impact evaluation, and a questionnaire to frame a discussion of which interventions might be most applicable to a given company context.

Results

TechnoServe is using our work to recruit different agribusiness partners to this R&D Coalition. Recruiting will take place from late 2014 to early 2015, with intervention selection, decision, and implement schedule to take place during the spring of 2015.