Question 11: Public-private partnerships

Shahid Akbar
Shahid Akbar Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) Bangladesh

e-Krishok is a highly innovative program linking existing infrastructures and investments into as a network for providing two way business support for Bangladesh's farmers. Developing from a successful pilot phase in 2008 and with support from and partnerships with Katalyst, Grameenphone, ACI and others e-Krishok has just launched its nationwide scaling up initiative to bring information and other services to rural Bangladesh. e-Krishok provides a platform on which to build a means for effective, efficient and transparent service delivery to farmers and communities throughout Bangladesh not only for information but for the products essential to cost-effective and efficient qualitative enhanced farming and perhaps most important to support the development of effective marketing and business development and an enhanced value chain for products produced by Bangladesh's farmers. e-Krishok is in the process to integrate other ICT channels like mobile based services (SMS, Voice), online consultation and market linkages to connect the wider groups of farmers, traders and bulk buyers. Building on existing telecentres and telecentre networks throughout Bangladesh.


For details please visit www.biid.org.bd

Sonigitu Ekpe-Aji
Sonigitu Ekpe-AjiMinitry of International Development CooperationNigeria

 Dear Shahid,

Do you link data base of the populations so as to access the profiles of farmers?

Thank you

Shahid Akbar
Shahid Akbar Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) Bangladesh

Dear Sea,

Thanks for your query, yes you can visit www.ekrishok.com for the database.




rantej singh
rantej singhReuters Market LightIndia

Creating accurate, timely and actionable content involves large fixed costs, especialy if the bsuiness model is designed to be scalable. Also, changing consumer behavior to make them accept and adopt a new medium of information requires substantial marketing expenditures. There are various approaches that a mobile phone based agri information provider can take to overcome these cost barriers, some of which are:

a) Create strong collaborative partnerships with other public sector and private sector entities that have relevant content, e.g. agricultural universities, research institutions, govt. agri departments, private sector agri input companies etc.

b) Work with other organizations / companies in the larger eco-system that have strong distribution networks in rural areas.

c) Create public-private partnership projects with public sector organizations and developmental agencies to provide sponsored short-term trials for small-holding farmers who can try out and realize the value of such information service before starting to pay for the same themselves.

d) create win-win-win solutions for other companies / organizations that also target the same set of end users (farmers).

Judy Payne
Judy PayneUSAIDUnited States of America

 That's a good list of approaches to public private partnerships.  I'd be interested if anyone has an example of a such a partnership (in Africa especially) between a government ministry and private entities (other than donors).  So many ministries see as a public good the provision of market prices -- it seems that there would be an opportunity for a partnership so that the government ministry would essentially partially subsidize a private entity that provides such market price services.  Any examples?


Brian Puckett
Brian PuckettNext 2United States of America

 Hi Rantej,

I also agree this is a great list that reflects exactly our approach in marketing our SMS 'geosocial' service for smallholder farmers in Kenya.  In our experience delivering the solution in country has has not been a problem.  We've even been able to reach out to organizations, such as the one's cited here, successfully using social media and email.

What has been very hard for us is finding local marketing talent that can effectively represent and demonstrate our SMS service to potential partners to close deals.  This has been by far the biggest stumbling block in the uptake our our solution in Africa.

Any thoughts or suggestions is greatly appreciated.

Brian Puckett


One important player is the mobile company industry.  There is stiff competition between mobile companies and many are looking at value-added services to their networks. One benefit teaming up with them is the strong marketing that they possess.

Michael Riggs
Michael RiggsUN-APCICT/ESCAPRepublic of Korea

Immediately before this discussion there was another forum on e-Agriculture that focused on partnerships for mobile agricultural information services. There was a very rich discussion about many issues and examples of different types of partnerships. If you did not participate in that forum, I would encourage you to take a look at it. You may want to carry some of the key points forward here, brining in your own experience and perspective.

The forum is archived HERE. In the next few weeks GMSA Fund and e-Agriculture Team will be preparing a blog and report that synthesize the discussion. This could make a good resource for future ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook forums!

Sonigitu Ekpe-Aji
Sonigitu Ekpe-AjiMinitry of International Development CooperationNigeria

 Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Management System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) is a dynamic, holistic approach that tackles both the agricultural value chain and the agricultural financing value chain. NIRSAL does two things at once; fixes the agricultural value chain, so that banks can lend with confidence to the sector and, encourages banks to lend to the agricultural value chain by offering them strong incentives and technical assistance. NIRSAL, unlike previous schemes which encouraged banks to lend without clear strategy to the entire spectrum of the agricultural value chain, emphasises lending to the value chain and to all sizes of producers.


  • Central Bank of Nigeria: Increased lending to agriculture from 1.4 to 7 percent of total bank lending within 10 years, increased income, GDP, foreign exchange earnings and the implication on the Bank’s ability to manage the value of local currency, lower food inflation and maintain monetary robust external reserves as well as monetary stability. In addition the project will absolve the Bank of the need for endless and voluminous subsidies to the agricultural sector.
  • Banks: Opportunity for capturing latent profits in agricultural lending, maintain long term human, institutional and cultural capacity for value chain financing capacity and enjoy lower loan origination and distribution costs.
  • Agricultural producers: Increased access to credit, enhanced adoption of better cultural and agronomic practices, use of improved inputs like seeds and fertilizers, increased productivity and profit, income, standards of living, job creation and poverty reduction.
  •  Ministry of Agriculture: A stronger agricultural sector with six showcase value chains, enhanced food security, fewer imports, and higher productivity.
  • Ministry of Finance: A stronger economy with additional agricultural GDP growth, higher employment, reduced expenditure on food imports, higher tax revenue from the agricultural sector, competitive exports and a more diversified economy.
  • State governments: An improved agricultural economy at state level creating more employment, less poverty, enhanced food security and higher tax revenue from a better-performing, well-financed sector.


Judy Payne
Judy PayneUSAIDUnited States of America

The NIRSAL Initiative sounds intriguing.  Could you provide more information on how it actually works please?  For example,  you wrote NIRSAL "fixes the agricultural value chain".  How does it do this?  

You also wrote that it "encourages banks to lend to the agricultural value chain by offering them strong incentives and technical assistance".  What are these strong incentives?

I recall that Nigeria has a government owned Agriculture Bank.  How does NIRSAL work with, complement, or compete with this Bank?

Thanks, Judy