Our Unique Approach

AgResults is a $152 million multilateral initiative that uses Pay-for-Results prize competitions to incentivize, or “pull”, the private sector to overcome agricultural market barriers by investing in innovative research and delivery solutions that improve the lives of smallholder farmers. At our core we are an experiential learning initiative, continuously building evidence on what works, and what does not, in using prize competitions to spur sustainable market change.

Read more about our approach

Our Portfolio of Innovative Projects

Nigeria

Completed
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Nigeria Aflasafe™ Challenge Project

Completed

Uganda

Completed
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Uganda Legume Seeds Challenge Project

Completed

Zambia

Completed
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Zambia Biofortified Maize Challenge Project

Completed

Vietnam

Completed
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Vietnam Emissions Reduction Challenge Project

Completed

Kenya

Completed
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Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project

Completed

Brucellosis (Global)

In Progress
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Brucellosis Vaccine Challenge Project

In Progress

Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine

In Progress
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Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine Challenge Project

In Progress

Tanzania Dairy

In Progress
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Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project

In Progress

Indonesia Aquaculture

In Progress
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Indonesia Aquaculture Challenge Project

In Progress

Senegal Crop Storage Finance

In Progress
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Senegal Crop Storage Finance Challenge Project

In Progress

AgResults by the Numbers

133

Competitors

394362

Smallholder Farmers Reached

10

Current and Past Projects

$12.9m

Prize Funds Awarded (approx)

News and Blog

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Published: February 06, 2023

AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project Launches into Sales Period 4

On January 25, project leadership hosted an information session with a wide range of 40 stakeholders which included fodder producers, Tanzania Agriculture Development Bank, government livestock ministry, private seed companies, technical assistance organizations, and NGOs to share project successes and introduce the new Fodder Incentive.

The success of Sales Period 3 has set a high bar for this upcoming sales period. During this time, there were 16 competitors that provided services to nearly 22,000 smallholder farmers (SHF) and delivered bundles of high-quality inputs to increase animal productivity, boost SHF income, and strengthen value chain relationships between dairy producers and the formal dairy sector.

Several competitors are anticipated to receive significant prizes for their efforts based on their ability to embrace and implement input-bundles, increase capacity, and expand their geographic footprints.

Aside from its early success and the competitors’ ability to scale impact each cycle, Sales Period 3 highlighted a clear opportunity for Sales Period 4 – an increase in fodder production. Limited availability of fodder was felt throughout the competition’s target regions, sparking AgResults to develop a new prize incentive to increase the supply of fodder in the competition and enable competitors to meet the requirement of the nutrition bundle as it launches into Sales Period 4.

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Published: January 30, 2023

Bolstering Fodder Supply in Tanzania’s Costal Region

After the success of its third sales period, the AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project has decided to tackle Tanzania’s fodder shortage through its promotion of private and parastatal engagement in the Fodder Incentive for the upcoming Sales Period 4.

The increased demand for hay, silage, and other dray matter coupled with unpredictable weather patterns has significantly reduced the supply of fodder in Tanzania’s coastal region and this was evidenced by the shortages of fodder in the current Tanzania Dairy Productivity Input Prize competition. To accelerate uptake of the nutrition bundle, AgResults donors instated an additional US$223k Fodder Incentive to incentivize supply-side production of dairy fodder and support market entry.

By participating in the Incentive, producers can win prize awards and help bolster the supply of fodder in the coastal area to support animal health, nutrition, and ultimately improved dairy productivity. We encourage you to apply and join us for a chance to win prizes and contribute to the development of a dairy sector in Tanzania. Should you have any questions or comments please direct them to NMrema@landolakes.org.

The deadline for receipt of applications for the Fodder Incentive, with all required signatures and certifications, is due no later than 1700 Hrs. EAT on February 3, 2023.  

To learn more about submission details please visit: Request for Applications for Sales Period 4 Competitors and Producers for the AgResults Tanzania Challenge Project 

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Published: January 06, 2023

Request for Applications for Sales Period 4 Competitors and Producers for the AgResults Tanzania Challenge Project

On behalf of the AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Project (the “Project”), the Project Manager (PM) Land O’Lakes Venture37 invites your organization to participate in up to two prize mechanisms (1) an input bundle-based prize competition (“Input Bundle Competition” or “Competition”) and/or (2) a fodder prize incentive (“Fodder Incentive” or “Incentive”) through which the Project aims to test Pay-for-Results mechanism approaches to scaling up innovative technologies, tools, and approaches to increase dairy productivity by using improved inputs. Participants of the Competition (each a “Competitor” and collectively “Competitors”) and the Incentive (each a “Producer” and collectively the “Producers”) can work in independently of each other or in conjunction with each other, since the Competition and Incentive are different prize mechanisms. The Project will take place in the coastal region of Tanzania, and specifically the regions of Dar es Salaam, Pwani, Tanga, and Morogoro (excluding Kilombero and Ulanga districts).

Land O’Lakes Venture37 is calling for applications from potential Competitors who are established entities from the private, parastatal, and non-profit sectors to participate in the project for Sales Period 4. Competitors already engaged in previous sales period are required to re-apply as well.

Land O’Lakes Venture37 is also calling for applications from primary fodder producers from the private, parastatal, and non-profit sectors to participate in a newly instated Fodder Incentive. The Fodder Incentive is solely for sales period 4 and aims to accelerate smallholder farmer’s uptake of the nutrition bundle by incentivizing supply-side production of dairy fodder. Entities interested participating in both the Incentive and the Competition are required to apply to each prize mechanism.

The below RFA outlines the Project background, objectives, and rules, and includes two application forms, one for the Competition and another for the Fodder Incentive. In submitting an application, your organization consents to the RFA terms, including the application procedures and instructions.

Please note the deadline for receipt of applications for the Competition, with all required signatures and certifications, is due no later than 1700 Hrs. EAT on February 28, 2023. For the Competition, please indicate “Competitor RFA-AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Project” in the subject line of the email or on the cover page. 

The deadline for receipt of applications for the Fodder Incentive, with all required signatures and certifications, is due no later than 1700 Hrs. EAT on February 3, 2023. For the Fodder Incentive, please indicate “Producer RFA-AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Project” in the subject line of the email or on the cover page. 

Application documents must be submitted by email to AgResultsTanzania@gmail.com or by postal address to: Land O’ Lakes Venture37, P.O Box 10517 Dar es Salaam, or hand delivered to Veterinary Complex, 131 Nelson Mandela Road, Dar es Salaam.

The Project management team will review applications according to the criteria described herein. The applicants whose applications meet the selection criteria will be invited to participate in the competition.

We encourage you to submit an application and join us for a chance to win prizes and contribute to the development of a dairy sector in Tanzania. Should you have any questions or comments please direct them to NMrema@landolakes.com. We appreciate your timely response to this RFA and look forward to cooperating with you on this important project.

AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project - Sales Period 4 - Competitor and Producer Request for Applications

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Published: October 17, 2022

Exploring the Post-Project PVA Maize Market in Zambia

October 17, 2022

Vitamin A deficiency is a significant problem in Zambia: More than half of Zambian children ages 6 months to 5 years are deficient in Vitamin A, increasing their vulnerability to infections such as diarrhea, sight impairment, and other health problems. To combat this, in 2012, HarvestPlus, a multi-donor agricultural health and nutrition program, released three hybrid seed varieties of Pro-Vitamin A (PVA) maize high in beta-carotene. HarvestPlus aimed to target rural areas and promote the adoption of new PVA maize hybrids among smallholder farmers. Following these efforts by HarvestPlus, in 2014 AgResults launched a Pay-for-Results prize competition to (1) incentivize seed companies to produce and sell PVA maize seed to farmers and (2) incentivize millers to purchase PVA maize from farmers to mill and sell as PVA maize meal to urban and peri-urban consumers. However, myriad enabling environment challenges limited private sector participation, along with low consumer awareness and demand, so AgResults was forced to close the project in early 2018.

Although the AgResults project did not produce the intended results, it still laid the groundwork for later growth. Two seed companies that participated in the competition and were awarded monetary prizes continued to incorporate PVA maize into their operations in the following years. PVA maize is now a significant portion of their sales, and these actions have also encouraged competition for PVA maize seed production among from several other seed companies.

In the four years since the project ended, PVA maize seed sales have noticeably increased. A half dozen seed companies, including some of whom participated in the AgResults competition, have continued to sell PVA maize seed and improve their practices around PVA maize seed production. Their actions have been buoyed by increased demand for PVA maize, largely driven by government programs and non-governmental organizations through programs focusing on rural consumption. At the same time, as public opinion of PVA maize has improved among peri-urban and urban populations in Zambia, there has been a diversification of PVA maize products in the markets – no longer just maize meal but also snacks and other food products. Looking ahead, it will take a combination of efforts led by the government and by the private sector to determine the long-term future of the PVA maize market in Zambia.

A Lessons Learned article explores this narrative in more detail.

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Published: October 03, 2022

AgResults Shares Experience Scaling Mitigation Practices at Forum Dedicated to Climate and Clean Air

October 3, 2022

Improvements to air quality can have many benefits, ranging from public health to agriculture to water quality. From September 26-30, the Global Methane, Climate, and Clean Air Forum discussed opportunities to protect the climate and improve air quality, specifically focusing on the role and impact of methane. AgResults joined the conversation on September 28, contributing its perspective on using a Pay-for-Results prize competition to scale climate-smart agriculture technologies to mitigate GHG emissions in Vietnam rice farming.

The Forum, sponsored by the Global Methane Initiative and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition, brought together industry leaders, technical experts, researchers, and policymakers to engage in a series of plenary sessions and technical panels. In addition to an in-person gathering just outside of Washington, D.C., the Forum featured a virtual attendance option.

On September 28, Justin Kosoris of AgResults joined a technical panel session titled “Best Practices in Scaling Mitigation from Paddy Rice” that was moderated by Jack Okamuro of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other panelists included: Tran Dai Dghia of Vietnam; Michele Reba of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Bjoern Ole Sander of the International Rice Research Institute; and Shailendra Mishra of Olam.

During his presentation, Mr. Kosoris explored how AgResults’ Pay-for-Results prize competition (2017-2021) in Vietnam encouraged the private sector in Thai Binh Province to develop and scale rice farming technology packages to mitigate GHG emissions, reduce water consumption, and increase productivity. By working with smallholder rice farmers in the Red River Delta, competing businesses were able to adjust their business models and investment strategies to raise awareness of climate-smart agriculture practices.

“While the total GHG emissions were less than originally anticipated, the project showed the potential for this type of funding mechanism to drive greenhouse gas-mitigating behaviors at scale,” said Mr. Kosoris. “Our challenge now is to develop cost-effective means of verifying emissions reductions, particularly as carbon markets begin to emerge for agricultural commodities.”

The project, which used a Pay-for-Results prize competition structure, worked well as a model to incentivize scaling in part because all three main stakeholder groups saw the ‘pull’ mechanism as effective: Private sector companies saw it as sufficient motivation to drive changes to their business model to promote sustainable rice farming technologies. Smallholder farmers saw it as a means to access new farming techniques and innovative fertilizer products that improved yields and value chain relationships. And the Thai Binh Province government viewed the PfR model as having potential to replicate elsewhere in the country.

In terms of what comes next for Vietnam, there are already efforts underway to scale the AgResults approach in the Mekong Delta and develop an alternative to the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP). These activities aim to cover 200-500,000 hectares, driving wide-scale adoption of green farming practices, increasing incomes, and empowering women-led households and enterprises.

Through its five days, the Global Methane, Climate, and Clean Air Forum successfully engaged a diverse set of stakeholders to discuss the importance of air quality and the significance of methane in this discussion. AgResults was glad to join the conversation and share its perspective on the role that a Pay-for-Results approach can play to incentivize adoption and scaling of climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices.

For more information on the Global Methane, Climate, and Clean Air Forum, visit the conference website. For more details on the Vietnam GHG Emissions Reduction Challenge Project, check out the final report and the project page.

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Published: September 16, 2022

The Impact of Blending Pay-for-Results Incentivized Inputs and Dairy Advisory Services in Tanzania

September 19, 2022

Of the many threats that Tanzania’s dairy sector faces, disease is one of the biggest. Parasitic, viral, and bacterial diseases not only limit livestock productivity but also increase animal mortality. For example, tick-borne diseases cause about 72% of annual cattle mortality in Tanzania. In theory, these diseases can be controlled by drugs and improved animal health services; in reality, most smallholder dairy farmers have limited knowledge of the necessary practices to manage their animals’ health.

This limited knowledge, combined with an historical struggle to acquire productivity-enhancing inputs on the market to prevent parasites and diseases, has affected animal health, reduced milk production, increased animal mortality, and had economic consequences for smallholder farmers. However, by increasing access to high-quality inputs, including vaccines and parasite control, as well as learning proper practices to use them, smallholder farmers can improve the health of their animals – increasing productivity and incomes.

The AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project is a four-year Pay-for-Results prize competition that encourages private sector input suppliers to sell productivity-increasing inputs to smallholder farmers. By providing a prize for each bundle of inputs delivered by participating input providers (competitors), the competition plans to increase animal health and productivity, boost smallholder farmers’ income, and strengthen value chain relationships between dairy producers and the formal dairy sector. Eligible inputs include parasite control, nutrition, vaccines, and artificial insemination (AI). Importantly, to qualify for a prize, competing input providers must provide embedded advisory services with the bundles.

Competitor Approaches to Using Advisory Services

In Sales Periods 1 and 2, competitors used advisory services to promote smallholders’ use and understanding of these inputs. Competitors have increased the number of farm visits conducted by their extensionists, resulting in more diverse as well as repeat sales and improved relationships among smallholder farmers and competitors. Some competitors have even opened additional retail outlets in remote regions of the country for farmers who previously did not have access to improved inputs or advisory services. These advisory services help farmers to not only understand the importance of adopting these inputs but to see results.

As part of their strategy to proactively provide advisory services to smallholder farmers, competing input suppliers have incorporated a range of other activities, such as establishing good recordkeeping practices to support their business operations, using professional veterinary technicians specifically for AI and vaccination services, and providing extensionists with tools and equipment as they provide services to smallholder farmers. These actions are helping competitors to earn the trust of their farmer clients, strengthening relationships along the value chain and the overall enabling environment.

Case Study: Damian Agrovet Invests in Stronger Relationships with Farmers

Like other leading competitors, input provider Damian Agrovet has enthusiastically embraced providing advisory services in Sales Period 1 and 2 to equip farmers with the knowledge and skills that they need. By recruiting professional extensionists in the Gairo District, the company has provided advisory services to individuals and groups through frequent farm and village visits. Through these visits, Damian has seen repeat sales of inputs as well as improved livestock management among participating smallholder farmers.

With these higher sales and stronger relationships built during the more frequent farm visits, tick infestations and mortality rates have dropped while milk production has significantly increased. As a result, Damian has earned farmers’ trust and is further investing to manage these new and improved relationships. The company upgraded their recordkeeping system to better monitor farmer progress and ensure that they are receiving the appropriate inputs at the right time. To expand their services, they have purchased motorbikes, smartphones, and other equipment so that extensionists can provide prompt, exceptional services to the farmers in remote regions that were previously unserved.

Input Suppliers’ Investments are Translating into Noticeable Change

As the Damian example shows, using improved advisory services has resulted in significantly higher sales of productivity increasing inputs during the first two sales periods. For example, from Sales Period 1 to Sales Period 2, sales of vaccine and parasite control bundles rose 83.74% and 66.22%, respectively. Equally importantly, smallholder farmers are observing first-hand the changes experienced from using vaccines and parasite control inputs.

They have reported that: 

  • Spraying, dipping, and deworming the animals has helped eliminate external and internal parasites.
  • Farmers’ animal mortality rate has dropped significantly because of vaccinations.
  • Tick infestation has dramatically fallen with diverse acaricides to help control parasite resistance.
  • Milk production has increased due to deworming and spraying of the animals and improved nutrition.

By providing advisory services required by the AgResults competition, competitors are starting to teach smallholder farmers the importance of livestock management and the value of productivity enhancing input bundles. As farmers in Tanzania gain access to these inputs and receive regular advisory services, their knowledge of livestock management is improving as is their use of vaccines and parasite control inputs, resulting in healthier and more productive cows.

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