New Report: Exploring private sector collaboration to fund free digital extension for smallholder farmers 

A new PxD report details fee-for-service private sector collaboration to support free digital extension service delivery to farmers in poverty 

With support from the Swiss Re Foundation, PxD investigated the viability of new forms of partnership with private sector firms to offset the costs of delivering digital advisory information to poor smallholder farmers at no cost to the end-user. PxD initiated a series of pilots that, for a fee paid by private sector partners, connected farmers to agricultural services offered by the same private firms. The pilots investigated the potential for fees derived from partnerships to offset the cost of delivering free information to farmers. 

Platforms built and supported by PxD provide scientifically validated and customized digital advice to poor smallholder farmers. This information helps our users make more informed decisions to improve productivity, yields, and incomes, and advance more resilient livelihoods. A majority of our users receive information via platforms we have built in partnership with governments and non-governmental organizations. The overwhelming majority of our users pay nothing to receive information from these platforms. But that does not mean that the information is free of costs. We rely on funding from donors and governments to cover the costs of the service, and sustainable service delivery. 

A new report by PxD presents the findings of these investigations. Support from the Swiss Re Foundation enabled PxD to uncover new insights about models of private sector collaboration with the potential for revenue generation at scale and a range of insights about the effectiveness of these services and the viability of new models for partnership. The project also enabled PxD to grow Krishi Tarang, our existing wholly-owned digital advisory service in Gujarat, India, to over 100,000 farmers.