Research Activities

Farmerline helps smallholder farmers transform themselves into successful entrepreneurs by increasing their access to information, inputs, and resources to increase their productivity. In an effort to determine the nature of this impact, we traveled to twenty-one communities where we conducted 30 semi-structured interviews with farmers. Interviews focused on the impact of Farmerline’s services on the farmers’ lives. Additionally, we conducted 8 semi-structured interviews with Farmerline’s business partners. These interviews focused on how Farmerline’s platform complements the business partner while impacting smallholder farmers. From both types of interviews we formulated case studies outlining the potential for Farmerline’s business partnerships to have a positive impact on farmers. Five case studies focusing on how different types of businesses use Farmerline’s software platform to support farmers and an innovation profile describing replicable elements of Famerline’s innovating capability.

Key Findings:

1. Direct contact with beneficiaries fuels impactful innovation. Farmerline is intentional about maintaining a farmer services team by including farmers in the development and piloting process. This reduces the burden of adoption on the end user while promoting constant innovation.

2. Mobile technology is effective for productivity. Supply chains that include rural smallholder farmers lack communication infrastructure, posing a serious obstacle to effective cooperation. The widespread availability of mobile phones increases traceability and improves extension through applications like Farmerline’s Mergdata platform.

3. Effective partnerships scale impact. By creating a flexible software platform available to other companies working with smallholder farmers, Farmerline is able to extend its impact beyond the reach of its own offices.




Social Enterprise:



Benjamin Lampe

Electrical Engineering

Caleb Zatto

Communications and Marketing

Marisa Rudolph

Environmental Science and Political Science

Faculty Research Mentors:

Dr. John Farnsworth, Environmental Studies

Dr. Michael Kevane, Economics

Michael Whalen, Communications


Impact Case Studies. A series of case studies to be featured on Farmerline’s website analyzes the impact of Farmerline’s business partnerships on both the businesses and farmers. These case studies examines how partners are using Farmerline’s services to and what the impact this has on the livelihoods of farmers.

Innovation Profile. This examines how Farmerline fosters a company culture and business processes that lead to ongoing, beneficiary-focused innovations. The profile proposes paths for Farmerline to maintain this culture while continuing to grow and scale.

Marketing Content. Ideation, photos and video as assets for Farmerline’s marketing efforts. These include design for Farmerline’s Mergdata website, flyers and banners to accompany field work, and concept advertisements for social media and billboard. This content synthesizes information about the company’s services and impact in order to effectively communicate Farmerline’s goals and achievements as a social enterprise.