In Mozambique, Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation conducted farmer impact surveys that are designed to provide us with data on the use and impact of services offered by our commercial partners. The impact surveys  include getting qualitative information about farmers’ experiences and collecting critical customer information, such as customer demographics, product usage feedback, and yields. Below are some high level findings from the surveys that may be applicable to other markets where commercial companies operate:

Certified Seed Distribution and Sale NCBA CLUSA Amber James Kevin Gifford João Forte

  • 70 percent of farmers reported that they heard about certified seeds for the first time through seed fairs rather than through individual seed stores. Learn more about seed fairs here. Other effective forms of marketing certified seeds includes demo plots/field days, extension agents, and radio.
  • In most cases, access of certified seed at the right time was a more important criteria than the cost of the seed. This demonstrates the importance of investments in effective distribution channels to satiate market demand.
  • Market access opportunities for smallholder farmers are key to convincing farmers to invest in certified seeds.
  • Farmers stated that they would be more willing to purchase seeds if they could access seeds on a credit basis and then pay back in either cash or commodity after harvest.

Financial services Opportunity International

  • Loan interest rates remain high and amortizations times are short.
  • The timing and conditions of loans should take into account the agriculture season, and banks should be open to negotiate the terms of loans in the event that farmers crops fail
  • Limited penetration of mobile money threatens sustainable financial service delivery

Commodity Trading Export Marketing Company Limitada

  • The closer a farmer sells to the final transaction point (ie. Warehouse), the higher price they will receive. 51 percent of farmers interviewed reported selling their products to traders/aggregators rather than directly to the warehouse
  • Farmers are less inclined to invest in storage without access to finance. 


Financing and developing strategic partnerships remain critical to effective marketing and sales to base of the pyramid customers such as smallholder farmers. What have been others companies lessons learned with regards to selling technologies and value added services into smallholder farmer markets?