Scale-up plans There is a need for national and multi-national agricultural companies for market research and product innovation for the Base of the Pyramid.
Financial sustainability Marketing budgets from product and service companies with 2-3 year programs.
After pondering about the plans to scale up we concluded that launching the project as a BoP marketing research agency for agricultural companies is the best way to go to provide options to small-scale farmers, maintain a sustainable operation, and add value to the chain (bottom to top). For example, these first results, with 40 families, presented a clear tendency towards two products and one service. Products that are in great need, that have high leverage impact on the system (food security), but, currently, with lack of innovative options, not commercially available or misrepresented on awareness campaign efforts in the location.
Hi David. Yes, the team has explored that pattern. On the decision-tool, this topic is introduced by the causal relationship: inputs -> lands. On a research level, this pattern has been explored by studying the trade-offs of short and long term production activities vs. outcomes. Below you can find part of the preliminary results:
“Smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan African (SSA) recurrently face situations of complex and dynamic decision trade-offs, which include allocating money between short-term and long-term oriented production actives. Short-term oriented activities such as fertilizer application help to cover immediate food needs, however compromise on future food production. Long-term oriented production activities such as building up soil fertility are important systemic leverage points for future food production, however compromise on today’s harvests. This article uses a Cournot field experiment in Zambia to investigate dynamic farm management decision-making with conflicting production objectives in a dynamic context. The results reveal that, overall, Zambian smallholder farmers are biased towards short-term oriented production activities, which leads to a suboptimal performance in production. Despite this bias, farmers applied a variety of distinct dynamic and non-dynamic decision strategies with varying production outcomes. The production outcomes of some strategies were highly depended on the endogenous interaction with other strategies. Given the fertilizer bias, our findings suggest that a mind shift towards long-term oriented production activities is required to sustainably increase food production in SSA. The variety of decision strategies and their endogenous interaction reinforce the need of building adaptive capacity on smallholder farms to apply context specific decision strategies.”
It would be nice to talk with you about the projects!
Thank you very much Didas. It would be great to talk with you about your project! The tool we are using is a decision-tool based on complex system analysis. This project started with the goal to adapt high-level mathematical analysis (used in policy decision making by governments and NGO’s) into a low-tech tool used directly by the end-users, the farmers. It intends to spark action into them and ignite multiple creative scenarios for solving decisions that otherwise would have, in their minds, just a couple of solutions (e.g. instead of planning to work on other's land, think one year ahead and improve crop storage).