ERAS Inclusive Business Approach
ERAS seeks to scale up the incidence of soil testing at the micro (village) level through supporting the development of local private sector service providers. This involves the creation of viable private sector supply chains which provide small-holder farmers with access to affordable and effective soil testing services. ERAS will provide the materials and support services required to enable entrepreneurs to develop successful micro soil-testing businesses in rural areas. These materials primarily include laboratory equipments and chemical reagents for accurate soil testing, and support services include initial training and ongoing support.
Franchise Business Model and Value Proposition
The business model for the project is supply services, equipment and inputs to those operating low-cost soil-testing businesses. The model comprises three income streams:
1. Sales of start-up laboratory packages (comprising equipment, initial reagent for 100 tests, initial training, one year post sales support)
2. Sales of additional reagent
3. Sales of additional support services (including training, technology packages, quality assurance, etc)
The value proposition is that increases in the small-holder farmer’s income are passed up the value chain through the soil-test provider (entrepreneur) as franchise model and to ERAS as the key supplier of equipment and reagents. Once established in the market, the increased demand from farmers for soil-testing services leads to new entrepreneurs purchasing starter packages, and successfully established entrepreneurs requiring increased inputs such as support services and chemical reagents. It is envisaged that laboratory owners invest either their own resources or receive credit from financial organizations.