Market exploration

Market exploration for horticultural enterprises in Africa–Seed2Feed and Planetary Service

Vegetable production in a controlled environment regulating light and moisture is on the increase in African countries. In view of climate change and urbanization horticulture offers attractive solutions. There are also some hurdles to take. In African countries in many cases there is not an ecosystem of many competitors and suppliers, in which case a startup company would have to create a beachhead in a crowded environment. Instead often there is lack of everything, suppliers providing materials, retailers and supermarkets nearby, means of transport and cooling. Therefore market exploration is becoming the more important, or actually, the creation of the right production – market fit. Often producers tend to look at the first issue, production facilities, which fact makes it more important to start or the other end: what can the market handle and accept?

The core of the study is an internship at a specific enterprise in an African country (to be decided). The internship assignment consists of market research for this specific company: how can it enlarge its outreach? What alternative and un-thought of options for marketing the produce may be available (schools?, hospitals? etc.) and how can connections be made? In turn this type of information feeds into the demands for the production: volume, quality, capacities/skills, technology. How can an optimal fit be realized?

This case study in turn feeds into a larger scale literature research on market access, ecosystem growth, and options for improvement of production-market fit and sectoral development, ecosystem development in the growing horticultural sector in African countries in general. To limit the scope of the study, a focus on one target country or group of countries is a feasible option.

The internship and master thesis study is suitable for students in economy, development economy, entrepreneurship, agriculture/horticulture, where the food chain is taken into consideration.