[Day 4] Sustainable Business Models for Agcommons


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Presented by Todd Slind (CH2M Hill) at the
CGIAR-CSI Annual Meeting 2009: Mapping Our Future. March 31 - April 4, 2009, ILRI Campus, Nairobi, Kenya

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[Day 4] Sustainable Business Models for Agcommons

  1. 1. Sustainable Business Models for AGCommons Projects/Products Can you try to make money off the increased productivity? What happens if productivity doesn’t improve? Or at least not immediately? Can you make money in accessing the information or infrastructure? Some things will end up in private sector, some things will end up with the public sector. Other donors may also end up in the game and be willing to fund in a maintenance mode: DFID, USAID, World Bank. Make sure you continue to provide benefits to the donors and meet their information requirements. Possibly ongoing M&E applications. Government partners should have budget to provide the services if they support their mandate and priorities. Working through the mobile telephony provider (get a portion of the SMS charge). Easier to have the Farmers Organizations or NGOs to pay for the service vs. the farmer. Possibility that seed and fertilizer companies could benefit from increase sales as a result of the AGCommons projects might somehow be taxed. Targeting high-value commodities (e.g., stimulant crops, vegetables, etc) and private sectors around them Peter found organization in Nigeria that was interested in financing information development for AfSIS. The products of some projects will have clear commercial applicability and value. How to get information services incorporated into the government delivery channel. Work on corporate service responsibility program and reach into a market niche and establish their branding. This is especially true in developing rural areas. Cross fertilization of costs within the system? Could fees be charged to research institutes who are receiving the information from the rural areas/intermediaries/farmers? Adopt an ability to pay model. Adjust priced based on application and motive. Find others with same interest in the data that can pay more. There will be a booming interest in business analytics. AGCommons projects/products could support that service and be ready to capture the market when it appears. Buy appreciating assets (land?) that will provide dividends to support maintenance costs.
  2. 2. If it is data, open it to commercial use Could operational costs for collecting information from farmers be borne by those who are having information collected on their behalf? Are their underlying values that could be leveraged to support the information exchange? Free air time for providing information. Farmers won’t pay for any information. May not be fair for farmers to pay for service. A lot of the projects of AGCommons are directed at small holders, perhaps they shouldn’t be the one paying for the service. There are examples where farmers are willing and do pay for information. Extension used to be totally government funded. After some years the extension services became a fee service. Pest management example for flower industry in Kenya. Sometimes farmers eat the seeds they should be planting. Do we have sustainable models with smallholders not necessarily in Central America. How do we visualize success? Focus on export sector? NGO example – 5 to 10 dollars per hectare per farmer for mapping and preparing their land. When you are doing agriculture, you are doing weather and climate. Either in a business model concept or for use as a public use. It is difficult and expensive to get weather data. Very important when doing growth season prediction or crop forecasts. This originates as public data, why does it get more expensive? Ongoing weather information expenses need to be considered on a project. Last week example of Kenya wondering if there was going to be rain and no one was sharing information. Improve the quality of forecast information in Kenya. AfSIS workshop on Monday is going to cover the issue on Monday.