Scaling impact: Zambia profit case study
This case study (PDF) by USAID analyzes the extent to which dynamics between input suppliers and smallholders have changed in Zambia. This includes the extent to which input suppliers’ focus on smallholders as a viable market has persisted, reversed, or evolved, and what this means for smallholders; what external economic and policy factors supported or hindered smallholder input market growth; and what lessons policymakers and practitioners can draw from the evolution of the Zambian input supply sector over the past ten years. This is the final report on the activities of the USAID/Zambia Production, Finance, and Improved Technology (PROFIT) project. The study found that smallholders are a continued and growing target market for interviewed input suppliers. A majority of input suppliers attributed their original investment and focus on smallholders to the enduring lessons, mentalities, and models learned through PROFIT. Input suppliers across the board are competing aggressively for a share of the smallholder market, and continue innovating ways to expand their geographic reach. While there is evidence that the market has expanded to include relatively poorer farmers over time, the extent to which these expansions have benefited women, youth, and extremely poor farmers is less clear.