Kastom Gaden has developed a draft business plan for income generation for the organisation. KGA is dependent on its aid donor partners for its funding but it is looking to the future and what options it may have for other sources of funds to sustain services.
Most rural farmers cannot at present afford to pay the full cost of services provided to them, there are ways that KGA can look at earning some of its own income to improve its services and provide more sustainability and farmers can pay for some services such as seeds.For this reason the marketing team looked closely at the PMN seed production services and the PMN membership base.
The PMN network is the most important asset of KGA. A strong, trusting and growing membership is the key to securing a relevant relationship with farmers – signified by annual fees. A strong PMN is also necessary to secure ongoing project/program funding in the aid community, or even fee from the private sector to access the PMN network.
One part of the business plan has looked at the seed production services that KGA provides for the PMN members. The plan, developed by PSO Ronstard Gapu and marketing adviser Will Tomlinson has come up with a plan.
Some of the main recommendations are summarised below:
- Rebuild the PMN Membership:
- Grow the Honiara Seed Production Capacity: With a PMN membership in the thousands, the seed sachets needed per month could approach 1,000.
- Market the PMN: Staff need to distribute seeds and newsletters when they visit the field to promote the PMN.
- Fix Seed/Newsletter Distribution: The partners should be used for distributing the PMN seeds. Seeds should be packaged in aluminum packets as they were in the past. Farmers could pick up the seeds or the partners could pay staff to make distributions in their geographical “area”.
- The PMN should be viewed as a business. Farmers pay for a service if the service is worth the money.
- Localize Seed Production, Increase Seed Production: Improving/creating the seed gardens at the Partners would allow them to grow and distribute their own seeds, greatly expanding the seed volumes nationwide and allowing the Honiara production to be used for PMN members in Honiara and for non-member sales. This should be set up on a fee paid basis where the PMN collects a portion of the PMN fee.
- Expand Commercial Sales: With the production support of partner seed gardens, Honiara production could supply the non-member market, generating income for PMN. This revenue would add to a self -funding PMN system.
- Incentivize Partners to Service and Grow PMN: Some consideration might be given to the Partners for providing this service in a similar way to the Honiara plan. The partners need to see the PMN revenue stream from their area as something to manage and grow.
- Maximize Information Opportunities: The seed sachets could be made large enough to print planting instructions on them. The coming mobile phone expansion will allow seed information distribution by SMS to PMN members, gross margin updates for crops in central market, and a potential system for fee payment.
- Maximize Income Opportunities for Farmers: For those Partner communities with national market access, seed distributions could be targeted to match their supply chain/value chain constraints.
As KGA implements these recommendations updates will be posted….