Profiling Producers to Better Support Them


Pierre Courtemanche

November 9, 2017

If your supply base encompasses thousands of smallholder producers, or your development project reaches similar numbers of beneficiaries, you’ll certainly have groups of producers behaving the same way or facing the same issues.  For example, producers whose yields are under the average, producers who never use fertilisers, producers who always deliver top quality, those who receive training but keep their old habits, and the ones who have dependents under the age of 6.

Profiling them based on set criteria could be an efficient way to better support them and monitor the impacts of your interventions on these groups.  Good databases and systems include query functions allowing you to isolate producers using filters and set criteria.  But in most cases, you’ll need to repeat the same iteration to obtain the same result.  For example, female farmers having field of less than 1 hectare, having 4 children under 16 and a yield under the average if you want to monitor this specific group.


Our web platform has a powerful feature called the User Story.  With this feature, users can create groups of producers and save their stories by giving it a name: Female with less 1ha, with 4 and up children under 16 and yield under average.  This means you can access this search repeatedly without having to redefine your criteria.

Suppose at the start of your program you have 46 women meeting the criteria mentioned above.  Your objective should be to decrease this number overtime and support these women to improve their yield, despite the small size of their farm and their obligation toward young dependants.



In addition to being able to save set criteria, the System is dynamic and updates the results as data is added.  This means you can set the criteria at the start of the project and then assess how the results change over time.  So, you could build a complex M&E framework with various milestones to reach overtime.


The User Story also has the ability to show you when certain criteria are not met.  For example, you can create a story for the producers who only deliver C quality, the lowest.  But you can reverse the result and obtain the producers never delivering the C quality.  This is very useful to instantly create control groups.


The System lets you modify your existing stories by adding or removing criteria.  This way, you can follow your groups as they evolve and bring them to a next level.

You can learn more on the User Story by getting in touch with us .


Traceability Solutions