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Summer 2014
News in Agricultural Technology
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Tips for Marketing Drip Products to Smallholder Farmers 

In May 2014, Partnering for Innovation held a workshop for African drip distributors in Arusha, Tanzania to facilitate dialogue and identify profit-driven opportunities. The workshop provided participants with working models in design and installation adaptations, extension support, distribution, and finance. Representatives from nine African countries attended and identified key constraints, including:

  • Limited commercial distribution networks.
  • Lack of financing mechanisms.
  • Inadequate extension services.

Experts discussed microfinance, extension, and system design. In addition, a successful entrepreneur who built his $1.8 million drip irrigation business in Honduras shared his hands-on practical approach for reaching the smallholder market. Systems design and cash flow tools from the workshop are available on the AgTechXChange.

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Can Selling Drip Irrigation Supplies to Smallholders Be Big Business?

Approximately 40 percent of the world's food producers are smallholder farmers, and estimates of potentially irrigable land in the developing world top 110 million hectares. So why do only three percent of the world's one billion smallholder farmers have access to drip irrigation?


This article by Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation in African Agribusiness magazine explores how Partnering for Innovation’s partnership with DelCampo Soluciones Agricolas has helped DelCampo successfully reach the smallholder market with drip irrigation supplies, training, and support. By building personal relationships with farmers and providing a suite of support around the use of their product, DelCampo has been able to establish a successful network of salespeople working with smallholder farmers.

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PICS Storage Bags
PICS Bags Commercialized in Rwanda under Partnering for Innovation Grant

The Purdue Improved Crop Storage (PICS), which is manufactured, demonstrated, and distributed through local farm supply shops, gives smallholder farmers an effective, low-cost option to address postharvest losses. At $2.50 per bag, these triple-lined plastic bags permit users to adjust the bag size to meet their volume while still allowing the bag to be hermetically sealed, preventing pest and insect damage. Purdue joined forces with local plastics recycler, EcoPlastics, to transfer the expertise and licensing to manufacture and distribute PICS throughout the country and ultimately reach over two million smallholder farmer households in Rwanda. Further, since PICS bags are mainly for household use, women stand to benefit the most from the innovation. 

Photo by Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation/PICS

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