Tailoring products and services to the specific needs of smallholder farmers
Industry actors need to broaden and expand on Good Agricultural Practices’ (GAP) agronomic perspective (e.g. “how to grow”) to include a business case perspective centered on specific markets. Fundamentally, adopting GAP is a business investment decision that includes optimizing additional revenue and risk-based decisioning making by smallholder farmers. In order to adequately address these factors, it is necessary to:
Emphasize the market context, not only the agronomic and growing practices.
Adopt a customer centric perspective that treats smallholder farmer segments differently.
Adopt a business orientation to promote the business case and the value proposition.
This paper advocates (1) understanding the underlying incentives for farmers by (2) segmenting farmers based on their behavior and current practices, (3) identifying the most appropriate practices for each segment factors and (4) identifying potential pathways for adopting and maintaining GAP by each segment. Adaptive GAP requires buyers and implementers to take a customer centric approach - understanding the market incentives, experiences, motivations, aspirations, and constraints of farmer segments and tailoring products and services to their specific contexts and needs.