Research on Women Sales Agents in Indonesia Conducted by PRISMA

November 10, 2020

This blog was co-written by Holly Krueger, Khairunnisa Usman, and Mediane Nurul Fuadah

Indonesian women’s roles in agriculture tend to be less visible and are frequently overlooked by agricultural input companies, government extension workers and even development programs. Unsurprisingly, gender considerations are largely absent from agricultural marketing activities and direct sales agent (DSA) models. To understand and address this gap, PRISMA conducted research on 10 agricultural sector partners and their respective DSA programs. The study, which spanned 3 provinces and included 500 survey respondents, evaluated several aspects including farmer uptake and preferences. The findings of the research are captured in two briefs and three analytical snapshot pieces.

Direct Sales Agent ‘impact’


A chart on farmers describing the data

 *Respondent base: reached by either men or women agents
Figure 1: Direct Sales Agent "Impact"

The ‘impact’ of women and men agents, their ability to transfer the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure that productivity and economic benefits of the agricultural product they are selling are attained by women and men farmers, is essential to the underlying value proposition of a Direct Sales Agent (DSA) model. Although profitable agricultural DSA models rely on repeat purchases from loyal customers, little consideration has been given to whether the gender of the agent may positively or negatively influence ‘impact’ on women and men farmers.

PRISMA examined how DSA marketing activities impacted women and men farmers (figure 1) using two metrics: application of agricultural knowledge and revenue/productivity growth. The research found that:


data chart

These findings are important because they show that demographics such as gender (of the agent and the farmer) and socio-economic status (of the farmer) can influence ‘impact’. Further, these considerations should be reflected in agricultural marketing strategies and agent network development and implementation.

Do you want to learn more about designing and implementing successful and inclusive sales agent models? Please check out other briefs in this series available at PRISMA website:

Women Agents: Insights and Recommendations

COVID-19 Update: Women Direct Sales Agents