Failure Modes for Agricultural Technology Ventures in Developing Countries
Jerrel Gilliam, Abdalla Nasser, and Khanjan Mehta
NCIIA Annual Meeting
Gilliam, J., Nassar, A., Mehta, K., “Failure Modes for Agricultural Technology Ventures in Developing Countries,” NCIIA Annual Meeting, San Jose, CA, March 2014
Agricultural technologies strengthen and streamline Food Value Chains (FVCs) while improving the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs. Technologies such as greenhouses, solar food dryers, threshers, grinders, storage, and packaging equipment can make wasteful food systems in developing countries more efficient. However, there are a myriad of technological, infrastructural and operational challenges that hinder the successful design and commercialization of such products. Through a qualitative analysis of academic literature, online journals, interviews with experts in the field, and our experiences over the past decade, we have devised a taxonomy of potential failure modes during the engineering design, implementation and maturity phases of agricultural technologies ventures. We argue that consideration of these failure modes early in the design process will assist agricultural technology designers and entrepreneurs in avoiding pitfalls later in the venture lifecycle.