Consumer education: how to sell seeds to smallholder farmers in the DRC

Practical guidance for businesses

Published by

This paper outlines the marketing strategies pursued successfully by seed companies in partnership with ÉLAN RDC. These strategies emphasise consumer education to drive demand creation. 

The aim of this paper is to encourage more actors to enter the seed sector, both companies interested in this growing market, and facilitators wishing to support the growth of this nascent industry. ÉLAN RDC has found that collaboration between private sector seed companies and development organisations can help to drive the emergence of a sustainable seed system in the DRC.

Success has been based on marketing strategies that focused on consumer education tailored to smallholder farmers; these included demonstration plots, mobile sales forces, appropriate packaging and development of a distribution network.

ÉLAN RDC found that product promotion and quality are the principal determinants of successful sales to smallholder farmers and that they are less sensitive to price considerations than is generally assumed.