The SMIA Program

Seed Marketing Innovations for Africa

The SMIA Program™

International seed companies invest heavily in marketing to enhance their seed sales, while African seed companies invest relatively little. Scoping work conducted in 2021 identified a lack of compelling evidence connecting marketing to driving sales. The SMIA program aims to generate this evidence and then share it with African SME seed companies, national seed trade associations, and public institutions like extension services for them to consider when designing programs to promote the uptake of improved seed varieties. Resourced manages the program, which will be carried out in Kenya and Uganda from 2023 to 2025.

Program Outcomes

Improved evidence on the effectiveness of innovative marketing tools and strategies that increase the adoption of new varieties (seed sales) and varietal turnover in Africa.

  • Validated approaches for utilizing varietal performance data to support seed decisions by farmers.
  • Validated approaches for designing seed-focused social marketing campaigns to increase the uptake of new varieties.
  • Validated approaches for point-of-sale (POS) marketing tools and techniques to encourage the seed purchasing behavior of farmers and increase product replacement rates of seed companies.
  • Validated approaches for expanding farmer awareness of improved seeds through digital seed marketing techniques.
  • Set of prioritized marketing innovations (tools, techniques, and promotional strategies) for driving varietal replacement.

Download the SMIA Program Overview

Innovation Areas - Marketing Concepts

  • Varietal Information to Support Seed Purchasing Decisions by Farmers
    Test the influence of varietal performance data in various formats and across digital and physical mediums to guide farmers and retailers - an adaptation from the Saskatchewan Seed Guide.
    Pilot Partners: NARS, Ministry of Ag, Retailer Associations
  • Social Marketing Campaigns to Influence Uptake of New and Improved Varieties
    Partner with gov agencies, NGOs, and trade associations to run social marketing campaigns on the value proposition of new seed varieties compared to market leaders. Build on learnings from the “Newer is Better Campaign.”
    Pilot Partners: Seed Trade Associations, Extension Agencies
  • Point-of-Sale (POS) Techniques and Tools to Drive Sales in Agri-Retail Channels
    Test with seed companies and retailers the return-on-investment of marketing tools employed at the point of sale (e.g., representatives in agrodealer locations, trial packs, bundling, and sales incentives (discounts, commissions, ‘sell or return’).
    Pilot Partners: Agri-Input Retailers, SME Seed Companies
  • Digital Marketing Approaches by Seed Companies to Build Brand and Turnovers
    Test with seed companies to measure the ROI and impact (brand awareness, qualified leads, customer acquisition) of company-branded, digital promotional approaches via a range of social media channels - Meta, Truecaller, SMS, and Blis.
    Pilot Partners: SME Seed Companies

In partnership with