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The Importance of Standards

Quality standards are increasingly important for farmers to be able to export in high-value markets. Two case studies illustrate both the risks and the potential benefits for farmers related to meeting export standards. Farmers in Kenya defaulted after having their produce refused by an exporter for failing to adhere to export standards. In Honduras, Wal-Mart was able to enforce the practices needed to export jalapeno peppers.

Smallholders and Inclusive Growth in Agricultural Value Chains

This paper investigates inclusive growth in agricultural value chains, with a focus on smallholder participation, upgrading behavior, and outcomes related to agricultural productivity, agricultural profits, and smallholder incomes. The purpose of the paper is to advance understanding of inclusive growth by reviewing empirical evidence from twelve agricultural value chains that have engaged and benefited smallholders. The review of evidence focuses on three central questions:

Contract Farming and Smallholder Incentives to Produce High Quality: Experimental evidence from the Vietnamese Dairy Sector

Producer penalties and bonuses can help reduce the incidence of side-selling and better align farmers' incentives with purchasers'. Bonuses can help ensure that farmers take the necessary measurements to produce the quality characteristics often present in contract farming arrangements. A randomized controlled experiment with milk producers in Vietnam showed that the presence of penalties and bonuses drove farmers to higher input use which resulted in higher quality milk.

Value Chain Development in Nicaragua: Prevailing Approaches and Tools used for Design and Implementation

This article draws on four contrasting cases of value chain development (VCD) in Nicaragua to assess approaches and tools used in design and implementation. We interviewed 28 representatives from the international NGOs leading the interventions, the local NGOs that participated in implementation, principal buyers, and cooperatives.

Value Chain Development with the Extremely Poor: Evidence and Lessons from CARE, Save the Children, and World Vision

The majority of the world’s poorest people live in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these households engage in rural farming and subsist on incomes at or below the international extreme poverty line of US$1.90 per person per day (our working definition for the ‘extremely poor’). CARE, Save the Children, and World Vision are applying inclusive value chain development (VCD) among households living in extreme poverty in an effort to catalyse sustained food security.

Supporting Smallholder Commercialization by Enhancing Integrated Coordination in Agrifood Value Chains: Experiences with Dairy Hubs in Kenya

Recent literature suggests that to make value chains in changing agrifood systems in sub-Saharan Africa more inclusive, intermediary institutions should foster coordination. The hub concept has been applied as such an intermediary institution that coordinates advisory services, input supply and smallholder access to markets.

Africa Agriculture Status Report 2017

The authors first discuss the value of value chains and how they can benefit from resilience. They follow this with a detailed analysis of the risks and resilience of different components of the value chain and conclude with a discussion of the business of resilience.  

Here is a list of key messages from this paper:

Working with Smallholders: A Handbook for Firms Building Sustainable Supply Chains

This handbook prepared by the International Finance Corporation presents the benefits and challenges of sourcing from smallholder farmers.

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