Our ongoing evaluations and continuous learning across pilots have generated early insights on the suitability of a pull mechanism approach, pull mechanism design, market impact, and development impact. These early insights are based on AgResults pilots in Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Uganda, which aim to incentivize the private sector to invest in creating sustainable, smallholder-oriented markets for beneficial agricultural technologies.
In all these pilots, the pull mechanism is designed to incentivize a pre-identified set of private sector actors in the technology value chain (manufacturer, distributor, aggregator, processor, or input provider) to invest in achieving pre-defined outcomes. The pull mechanism defines a prize, outcomes which will trigger the prize, conditions on these outcomes, and an objective means for verification of the outcomes. For example, the Kenya on-farm storage pilot provides a prize to storage distributors for the level of storage sales they achieve (the outcome) on the condition that the sales be made to smallholders within the targeted grain-growing areas. The overarching theory of change across these pilots is based on the premise that the efforts of multiple private sector actors to achieve these outcomes will lead to investments in the development of sustainable and smallholder accessible markets for the technology. In the next section, we discuss initial lessons that we have learned from our ongoing evaluations of the pilots.