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: June 01, 2022

Using Pay-for-Results Incentives to Support a Reduction in Emissions Intensity in Tanzania

June 1, 2022

By Sydney Maanibe

Sydney Maanibe is a Program Manager at Land O’Lakes Venture37 based in Arden Hills, Minnesota, and is part of the Project Manager team for the AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project.

Driven by excess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as methane, carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrous oxide, climate change is one of the defining challenges of the 21st century. Transforming weather patterns and threatening food production, the impact is truly devastating. Globally, agriculture, forestry, and land use account for 18.4% of total GHG emissions. In Eastern Africa, agricultural emissions represent 34% of Africa’s overall agricultural emissions; approximately 80% of that comes from livestock.

This year, #WorldMilkDay focuses on efforts to accelerate climate action and help reduce the dairy sector’s impact on the planet. An important climate action indicator for the dairy industry is emissions intensity, which is defined as the amount of GHG emissions required to make one liter of milk. When productivity goes up, emissions intensity goes down. So by increasing productivity, the dairy sector can reduce its overall GHG emissions, helping to limit its effects on climate change.

In Tanzania, the importance of reducing emissions intensity is especially critical. Tanzania has the second largest cattle herd in Eastern Africa but is the least efficient milk producer, producing approximately 2.2 billion liters of milk per year by a herd of 28.8 million cattle and emitting a current average emissions intensity of approximately 7-9 kilograms of CO2 eq per kg. In comparison, current emissions intensity in North America is around 1-2 kg of CO2 eq per kg.

Emissions intensity is clearly a problem in Tanzania, but the country’s dairy farmers face several challenges that limit their ability to improve their animals’ productivity. These include limited access to high-quality affordable nutrition products and other inputs that can prevent diseases such as parasite control and vaccines, insufficient advisory services, and poor animal genetics.

Recognizing these challenges and their contributions to emissions intensity, the AgResults Tanzania Dairy Challenge Productivity Project is using a Pay-for-Results prize competition to encourage private sector input suppliers to deliver high-quality inputs — nutrition products, vaccines, parasite control products and artificial insemination services — and advisory services to smallholder farmers. By providing a cash prize for each bundle of high-quality inputs delivered, the competition aims to increase animal productivity, boost smallholder farmers’ income, and strengthen value chain relationships between dairy producers and the formal dairy sector.

The AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project provides monetary prizes based on the types of input bundles that competitors provide to smallholder dairy farmers.

After two years, AgResults competitors have sold more than 50,000 productivity-enhancing input bundles, supporting the provision of nutrition supplements, enhancing animal genetics, and using vaccinations as well as parasite control products to improve animal health. Smallholder farmers have noted a direct improvement in animal productivity and overall health due to the enhanced inputs and services they have received. Some have indicated that they have seen a doubling or even tripling of milk volumes from their animals.

It’s still too early to tell how these input bundles will impact emissions intensity and much harder to attribute any shifts directly to the AgResults competition. But it is efforts like this that will help to move the needle in a positive direction on dairy productivity, emissions intensity, and eventually on GHG emissions.

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Published: May 20, 2022

Tanzania Award Ceremony Recognizes Competitor Achievements in Sales Period 2

May 20, 2022

On May 19, the AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project held an award ceremony to recognize the achievements of input suppliers over the competition’s second sales period to deliver productivity-increasing inputs, along with advisory services, to smallholder farmers. Since 2020, the project has tackled issues of low dairy productivity and limited access to inputs, providing monetary prizes for businesses that deliver a variety of input ‘bundles’ and advisory services to farmers.

Held in Dar es Salaam, the Sales Period 2 Award Ceremony brought together government representatives, development partners, and private sector stakeholders to recognize the project’s growing momentum in its second year and reflect on its potential to strengthen the dairy sector. The event featured a range of perspectives, from donors to Project Manager Land O’Lakes Venture37 to the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries – culminating in the announcement of prizes.

The event began with welcoming remarks from Land O’Lakes Venture37 Team Vice President John Ellenberger.

“The project is engaging with a wide variety of stakeholders, including the Government of Tanzania, to ensure the availability of inputs and enhanced service delivery,” he said. “This strong collaboration has led to the achievements we see today. Congratulations to the competitors for their innovation and resilience.”

Then Honorable Mashimba Mashauri Ndaki, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries of Tanzania, spoke as the Guest of Honor, recognizing the significance of the prize competition to shape Tanzania’s market growth and benefit its farmers.

“The government has recognized the AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project’s contributions to the implementation of the Tanzania Livestock Master Plan,” said the Minister. “This gives us confidence that through public-private partnerships, we can solve many challenges facing the livestock sector in Tanzania.”

Rodrigo Ortiz from the AgResults Secretariat then spoke about how the Tanzania project fits into the broader goals and approach of the initiative, namely using monetary incentives to drive private sector innovation that benefits the entire value chain.

“This second year built on the experimentation and innovation of Sales Period 1,” said Mr. Ortiz. “We are very pleased with the competitors’ achievements as they continued to invest time and resources to develop new methods of reaching farmers and packaging critical inputs with important accompanying technical assistance.”

Following this, Project Manager Lead Neema Mrema provided an overview of the project and its results, remarking on the competitors’ efforts during the sales period.

“AgResults has organized this event to recognize each and every competitor’s efforts and to present them with their prizes, which required a great deal of innovation, learning, and adaptation along the way,” said Ms. Mrema. “You have set a very admirable benchmark for future competitors of this project.”

Christopher Duguid, First Secretary for Development – Economic Growth, from Global Affairs Canada spoke next, reflecting on the benefits of testing Pay-for-Results prize competitions as a development approach to drive market systems development and strengthen relationships among value chain actors.

“As we mark the halfway point of the competition, we can already see its potential to increase access among vulnerable populations and improve the lives of smallholder dairy farmers,” said Mr. Duguid, representing not only Global Affairs Canada but also the broader donor community. “The donor community is very excited to see what the competition achieves in the next two years.”

After these speeches, it was time to present the prizes, during which four competitors out of the six participants were recognized for their sales of input bundles to smallholder farmers from June 2021 – February 2022. The ten winners — Agricare Enterprises, ATOZ Universal Ltd, Damian Agrovet, IDD Agrovet, Kile Agrovet, Kilosa Veterinary Centre, MiL Animal Nutrition Innovation Centre Ltd, Oiso Agrovet, Twins Agrovet and General Supplies, and Vetfarm — engaged 8,041 smallholder farmers and delivered 37,391 input bundles, winning a total of $348,293.

Ms. Mrema reflected on the significance of the award ceremony and efforts to date by participating businesses.

“It is important to showcase the commitment that these competitors have demonstrated over the last nine months in ensuring smallholder farmers are well-served with access to high quality dairy inputs and, just as importantly, advisory services,” she said.

The Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project is part of AgResults, a $152 million collaborative initiative between the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank Group that uses prize competitions to incentivize the private sector to overcome market barriers and create lasting change. Under AgResults’ Pay-for-Results model, these competitions encourage actors to achieve predetermined results thresholds and quality for monetary prizes.

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Published: March 08, 2022

How Can We #BreaktheBias by Promoting Gender Inclusion in Food Security?

March 8, 2022

By Katie Hauser

Katie Hauser is a Private Enterprise Officer at the USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security and currently sits on the AgResults Steering Committee.

Women comprise 43% of the global agricultural labor force, playing critical roles in agri-food systems as farmers, service providers, and entrepreneurs.1 Focused efforts to empower women could dramatically benefit entire communities. For example, if women had the same access to land and other productive resources as men, they could increase farm yields by 20-30 percent.2 Such activities could drastically increase productivity and reduce poverty: Closing the gender gap in Tanzania agricultural productivity could lead to 2.1% increase in that agricultural productivity and would lift more than 80,000 people there out of poverty annually over ten years.3

Yet for all this potential, gender gaps in access to resources and opportunities across food systems persist. As much as we need policy change, overcoming these disparities demands that we break down biases that linger in our views, behaviors, and practices. This year, International Women’s Day (March 8) asks us to imagine a world that is free of stereotypes and discrimination. By working collectively, we can #BreaktheBias and create a gender-equal world.

AgResults: Encouraging Higher Inclusion of Women in Tanzania’s Dairy Sector

It can be tough to know what this looks like in practice, but the new U.S. government’s Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS), which guides the Feed the Future initiative, provides a starting point. Covering Feed the Future’s plans for 2022-2026, this document elevates equity and inclusion as key to addressing the biggest global challenges. The GFSS highlights several approaches to integrating gender considerations into programming. I’d like to focus on one in particular: Increasing opportunities for women to access, adopt, and benefit from innovative technologies.

AgResults, a $152 million initiative that includes USAID on its donor committee, uses Pay-for-Results prize competitions to incentivize the private sector to invest in high-impact innovations that will benefit smallholder farmers. The AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project provides one possible solution to #BreaktheBias. The competition uses monetary prizes to incentivize private sector actors to sell input bundles accompanied by advisory services to smallholder dairy farmers to increase their adoption of productivity-enhancing inputs. As a prize competition, the project is deliberately solution-agnostic – in other words, it doesn’t require that competitors solve the problem in a specific way.

This means that AgResults does not mandate that competitors do certain things to address gender resource gaps. Instead, the project incorporates nudges, explaining the benefits of working with women along the dairy value chain as smallholder farmers, veterinary professionals, or extension agents. To join the competition, firms submit a gender outreach and action plan. The project’s orientation included gender sensitization training for participating companies. These actions are teaching input businesses the roles that women can and should play to build trust and drive change. With this awareness, they recognize the benefits of women being able to access, adopt, and benefit from innovative technologies that increase dairy productivity. Such efforts may also create more gender-inclusive environments like the GFSS pushes for – and breaking down stereotypes along the way.

Taking a Step to #BreaktheBias

This year, International Women’s Day does more than remind us about the importance of gender equity; it demands that we #BreaktheBias and push for a gender-equal world. I am optimistic that plans like the GFSS and innovative approaches like AgResults can point us in the right direction.

  1. CERES 2030. 2020. Ending Hunger Sustainably: The Role of Gender
  2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (2011). The State of Food Insecurity in the World – Women in agriculture: Closing the gender gap for development. Rome, Italy. http://www.fao.org/docrep/013/i2050e/i2050e.pdf
  3. UN Women. 2021. The gender gap in agricultural productivity in sub-Saharan Africa: Causes, costs and solutions. Policy Brief No.11. UN Women: New York

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Published: January 18, 2022

Using Pay-for-Results Prizes to Spark Business-to-Business Collaboration in the Tanzanian Dairy Sector

High-quality inputs can dramatically improve dairy productivity in Tanzania, but only if smallholder farmers can access them. Historically, input businesses have struggled to deliver high-quality inputs to farmers: High service delivery costs, poor distribution networks, and lack of familiarity with their customers in remote areas have hindered relationship building with farmers.

The impact has been felt across the sector. Because smallholder farmers have limited access to quality inputs, many do not understand their application or benefits. This has led to poor animal health, affecting productivity and livelihoods.

To spark more comprehensive and effective delivery and use delivery of inputs, AgResults developed the Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project, a four-year Pay-for-Results (PfR) prize competition that uses monetary prizes to incentivize private sector actors (“competitors”) to sell input bundles with advisory services to smallholder dairy farmers to increase their adoption of productivity-enhancing inputs. The project is being implemented in Tanzania’s coastal area, targeting Tanga, Pwani, Morogoro, and Dar es Salaam. Now in its second year, the competition uses an open-ended approach that encourages competitors to innovate to find different ways – including business-to-business collaboration (B2B) – to address market demand.

Using B2B collaboration to meet farmer demand first emerged during the Induction Meeting in May 2021, where businesses competitors accepted into the competition received information about the upcoming sales period. While networking, some realized there were opportunities to pool efforts and resources for mutual benefit. By combining their specific areas of expertise and operations, they could better meet demand, especially among rural consumers. Several competitors used this information to develop action plans that complemented their capabilities.

Twins and Kile: Collaborating to Provide Advisory Services in Morogoro

Most farmers in the Morogoro district are pastoralists, struggling to access inputs and advisory services. They often depend on government support, which can be unreliable due to budget limitations. Seeing a chance to combine their expertise in service delivery and input procurement, Twins Agrovet and Kile Agrovet decided to collaborate.

The competitors distributed roles: Twins would seek permits for mass vaccination campaigns, awareness creation, and record keeping of services delivered, while Kile would source inputs and arrange for extensionists. However, due to the nature of the individual companies’ operations, they later decided to provide services together, with each company coordinating their own extensionists and keeping sales receipts to avoid double counting.

Through this collaboration, the businesses reached 1,055 smallholder farmers (741 of which were pastoralists), increasing demand for parasite control and vaccinations. Kile is capitalizing on this growth and is setting up a satellite shop in Morogoro to provide additional inputs and advisory services to smallholder farmers in the area.

MiL-Animal Nutrition and Vetfarm: Expanding Geographies and Driving Demand

Rather than using hay and silage, most smallholder farmers in Dar es Salaam and Pwani rely on cut and carry practices to get forage for their animals. To switch to formally produced hay and silage, which is cheaper and can improve animal productivity, farmers must see their value – requiring tactical marketing. Although MiL-Animal Nutrition had researched silage’s effectiveness in improving animal productivity, they were new to the area and unsure how to engage farmers. They needed help from businesses with established farmer relationships. On the other hand, Vetfarm had no access to silage and could not meet the current demand of smallholder farmers in their existing customer base.

After learning about the needs and demands of farmers in the region, the competitors realized they could work together to enhance their business operations. MiL-Animal Nutrition connected Vetfarm with suppliers of silage from Arusha and Kilimanjaro to serve farmers in Dar es Salaam. Likewise, Vetfarm provided MiL-Animal Nutrition with their deep local experience of the Pwani Region to help them deliver products and services to smallholder farmers. Through this collaboration, MiL-Animal Nutrition added three outlets to deliver high-quality nutrition products to more rural communities. And Vetfarm filled gaps in MiL-Animal Nutrition's services, offering vaccines, parasite control, and artificial insemination to smallholder farmers.

These examples show how the contest has promoted B2B collaboration among input businesses in Tanzania to solve the collective problem of reaching rural farmers. As more businesses see the economic benefits of partnerships, they may continue teaming up in the future. In turn, these relationships help smallholder farmers by increasing their access to reliable services and higher-quality inputs, strengthening the sector and increasing productivity.

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Published: January 04, 2022

Request for Applications for Sales Period 3 Competitors for the AgResults Tanzania Challenge Project

On behalf of the AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Challenge Project, the Project Manager (PM) Land O’Lakes Venture 37 invites your organization to participate in a prize competition through which the Project aims to test Pay-for-Results mechanism approaches to scaling up innovative technologies, tools, and approaches to increase dairy productivity through the use of improved input. The competition 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 Venture 37 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 3. Competitors already engaged in either Sales Period 1 and 2 are required to re-apply as well.

The below Request for Applications (RFA) outlines the competition background, objectives, and rules, and includes an application form. In submitting an application, your organization consents to the RFA terms, including the application procedures and instructions.

Please note the deadlines for receipt of the application, with all required signatures and certifications, is due no later than 1700 Hrs. EAT on February 28, 2022. 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. Please indicate “Competitor RFA-AgResults Tanzania Dairy Productivity Project” in the subject line of the email or on the cover page.

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.org. 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 3 - Competitor Request for Applications

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Published: November 17, 2021

AgResults Shares Lessons on Prizes, Private Sector Engagement, and Resilience at #CTN21

November 17, 2021

When food and water systems are more resilient, vulnerable populations can better access the technologies and practices they need to improve food security and bolster their well-being. But how can public and private sector stakeholders jointly stimulate this rural and agricultural development? Over four days, the Cracking the Nut Conference is exploring these complex topics, bringing a diverse set of attendees together to engage virtually on best practices and innovations. AgResults contributed its perspective on leveraging private sector investments through a breakout session on November 16.

AgResults’ breakout session on Day 2 was titled “Incentivizing Climate-Smart Rice and Resilience in Vietnam.” Led by Project Manager Lead Dr. Tran Thu Ha of SNV/Vietnam and AgResults’ Justin Kosoris, the session explored how AgResults’ Pay-for-Results prize competition 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, competing businesses were able to adjust their business models and investment strategies to raise awareness of climate-smart agriculture practices.

“We’ve seen the Pay-for-Results model really generate excitement among private sector competitors when there hasn’t been a strong development process,” said Mr. Kosoris. “In industries where there is already strong donor money, sometimes it’s hard to ‘wean’ companies off that funding to turn to Pay-for-Results approaches instead. In many cases, it takes some education, and we try to make our prize payments iterative to give competitors some capital to reinvest.”

Following an introduction to prize competitions and to the AgResults initiative, the presenters dove into the Vietnam project, first explaining the problem of emissions driven by paddy rice farming and then illustrating how the competition succeeded in reducing input costs, water resource use, and emissions while also increasing rice yields and profits for farmers (see final report for more details).

Dr. Tran and Mr. Kosoris then outlined the key lessons learned across the competition’s four years. In the latter portion of the session, the presenters guided participants through an interactive discussion of scaling through Pay-for-Results, setting appropriate targets, and approaching verification processes.

“This was the first time that the Pay-for-Results model was applied in Vietnam – and maybe the entire region,” said Dr. Tran. “But once we talked companies through the tangible and intangible benefits of participating in the project, to get verification of their technologies, to increase visibility and branding, they were encouraged to apply.”

“Even though it was the first time, the PfR pull mechanism functioned as planned and project stakeholders observed that it worked extremely well as a model to incentivize scaling,” Dr. Tran added. “It was seen as a promising new model for private sector engagement that could be replicated elsewhere.”

Through the AgResults and other sessions, Cracking the Nut has successfully engaged a diverse set of stakeholders to discuss how to make food, water, and energy systems more resilient and accessible for rural populations. By focusing on digital solutions, private sector investments, and inclusion, the conference has kept the momentum going from priority events such as the UN Food Systems Summit and COP26 to chart the best course for the future of agricultural development.

For more information on Cracking the Nut, 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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