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Value Chain Development and the Poor: Promise, delivery, and opportunities for impact at scale

Since the early 2000s, value chain development (VCD) has figured prominently on the agendas of donors, governments, and NGOs in pursuit of market-based options to poverty reduction, food security, gender equity, and other goals. Researchers have shown interest in value chains as a theoretical construct for studying interactions between farmers and markets, while practitioners have focused their attention on approaches and tools for applying VCD in the field.

Spatial food and nutrition security typologies for agriculture and food value chain interventions in Eastern DRC

To guide the design of future agriculture and food value chain interventions, this paper combines two existing spatial food and nutrition security typologies and applies them to the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Apart from estimating absolute and relative inefficiencies along the food system from agricultural potential to nutrition, the integration of both typologies resulted in nine unique low efficiency profiles across the territories and major cities of the Greater Kivu region and Tanganyika.

Policy responses to rapidly transforming midstream value chain segments in Africa: The case of the millet sector in Senegal

This chapter in the RESAKSS ANNUAL TRENDS AND OUTLOOK REPORT aims to assess the performance of and policy responses to Africa’s rapidly emerging traditional staples value chains, which are dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the processing and trading segments.

The Right Tortilla for the Right Occasion: Variation in Consumers’ Willingness to Pay for Blue Maize Tortillas Based on Utilization

This study examined consumers’ purchasing habits and demand in peri-urban Mexico City for three types of tortillas: i) machine-made white, ii) handmade white, and iii) handmade blue. As part of a sensory analysis, the participants rated the blue maize tortillas significantly higher across all categories (overall score, flavour, smell, texture in mouth, texture in hand, size, thickness, and colour). To explore how demand varies according to the intended use, we conducted a choice experiment using three scenarios: in-home daily use, in-home special event, and out-of-home consumption.

Impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on vegetable value chains in Ethiopia
The COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to disrupt food value chains in Ethiopia and elsewhere, impacting the livelihoods of farmers and the diets of rural and urban households. These effects are likely to hit the poorest and most vulnerable farmers and consumers the hardest, but they are not yet well understood. More evidence is needed to guide the government and other organizations in devising responses.
COVID-19 is shifting consumption and disrupting dairy value chains in Ethiopia
The COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to disrupt food value chains in Ethiopia and elsewhere, impacting the livelihoods of farmers and the diets of rural and urban households. These effects are likely to hit the poorest and most vulnerable farmers and consumers the hardest, but they are not yet well understood. More evidence is needed to guide the government and other organizations in devising responses.
Agricultural value chains and structural transformation in Senegal: A product space approach
Using the product-space approach and BACI dataset for the period 1995-2014, we analyze the role of agricultural value chains selected under Agricultural Policy Support Project (PAPA) in Senegal’s structural transformation process. Overall, our findings suggest that the dynamics of economic complexity index (ECI) has been rather volatile throughout the period. Simulations results suggest that exporting only non-processed agricultural products, even with Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA), is not enough to substantially boost the country structural transformation process.
Distortions to agricultural incentives: Evidence from Nigerian value chains
Photo credit: The Guardian Understanding how policies affect price transmission and incentives for producers and consumers along the complete value chain is a relevant research question due to the more globalized structure of agricultural value chains. In particular, Nigerian agricultural value chains have been targeted by a number of policy decisions.
Cities, value chains, and dairy production in Ethiopia

This paper explores the spatial heterogeneity in dairy production in the highland production area around the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. We look at how urban proximity – defined as the travel time from the farm to the central market of Addis Ababa – affects the production decisions of Ethiopian dairy farmers. We sampled 870 households from the major rural production zones around Addis Ababa, where villages were stratified according to their distance to Addis Ababa.

Value chain transformation

The majority of literature on aquaculture in Bangladesh focuses on “microsocioeconomics” and “value chains” (VCs) and tends to have a static perspective. However, this approach is at odds with several important emerging trends (Ali 1997; Ali, Haque, and Belton 2013). First, aquaculture is growing fast in Asia. From 1984 to 2014, Bangladesh’s farmed fish jumped from 124,000 metric tons to 1.96 million metric tons, increasing by 1,580 percent.

Supply chain from production areas to Addis Ababa

The importance of cities is rapidly growing. It is estimated that more than half of the world population was living in cities in 2010; this is up from 30 percent in the 1950s (UN Population Division 2010). Given this rapid urbanization, especially so in developing countries, and the increasing importance of the manufacturing and service sectors in these countries’ economies, more people are making a living outside agriculture. As part of this change, many more people do not grow their own food and rely on market purchases for their food needs.

Dynamics in teff value chains

The purpose of this chapter is to understand the changes that have been happening in the teff value chain in Ethiopia based on carefully fielded primary stacked surveys at different layers in the value chain.1 This chapter uses the same data as in Chapter 11 and takes a dynamic angle on the teff sector, as was presented in Chapter 12. However, the scope of the analysis is much broader than in the previous market-focused chapter.

Investing in wet mills and washed coffee in Ethiopia: Benefits and constraints

Local value-addition in developing countries is often aimed at the upgrading of agricultural value chains, since it is assumed that doing so will make farmers better off. However, transmission of the added value through the value chain and constraints to adoption of value-adding activities by farmers are not well understood.

Measuring distortions along Tanzanian agricultural value chains

Policies targeting agricultural value chains impact Tanzanian farmers, so it is important to understand how these policies affect producer incentives and price transmission along the value chain. This research focuses on maize and groundnut value chains, estimating Nominal Rates of Protection (NRPs) along the value chain and analyzing their implications for producers. The results for border NRPs and trade status imply an anti-trade bias in maize; imported maize faces an import tariff, while exported maize often faces taxes.

Identifying priority value chains in Tanzania

Value chain development is increasingly perceived as an important approach for agricultural development in developing countries. This paper uses a Rural Investment and Policy Analysis (RIAPA) model for the mainland Tanzania economy to identify the agricultural activities and value-chains whose expansion will be most effective at fostering economic development along four dimensions: generating economic growth in the agricultural-food sector of Tanzania; reducing national and rural poverty; generating employment; and improving nutrition by diversifying diets.

Measuring distortions to agricultural incentives for value chain analysis: Evidence from Indian value chains

We extend the nominal rate of protection (NRP) methodology to a value chain framework. We develop our methodology for three types of value chains: a new value chain created by policy, a value chain in which a by‐product is created in the processing of a commodity, and a value chain in which processing of a commodity generates new product(s). We consider two cases of value chains: when the commodity is tradable and when it is non‐tradable.

Beyond the business case for agricultural value chain development: An economywide approach applied to Egypt

This paper goes beyond the “business” case for agricultural value chain development and presents an economy-wide framework to make the “development” case. We show that there are several key transmission channels that determine the economy-wide impacts of promoting various value chains, including forward and backward economic linkages, price responses, and net employment effects. These impacts all matter for household incomes, poverty, and dietary diversity.

Developing agricultural value chains

This chapter examines and compares four important but different types of value chains in Ghana: two export crops—cocoa and pineapples, and two import-substitution crops—rice and tomatoes. Apart from cocoa, these crops have under-exploited opportunities, and we examine the opportunities and constraints along their value chains, and the roles that the public sector has or might need to play. This leads to some more general conclusions about the best ways to develop these and related agricultural value chains in Ghana.

Competitiveness of African agricultural value chains

This chapter uses a statistical approach to explore African agricultural competitiveness. We illustrate competitiveness through all three means mentioned above: microeconomic drivers, macroeconomic drivers, and impact. We discuss the evolution of Africa’s competitiveness, comparing the competitiveness of Africa’s regional economic communities (RECs) with the world and among each other. We also analyze the competitiveness of value chains by commodity for the commodity value chains that are most significant for Africa’s trade.

Trade, value chains, and rent distribution with foreign exchange controls: Coffee exports in Ethiopia

Exchange rate policies can have important implications on incentives for export agriculture. However, their effects are often not well understood. We study the issue of foreign exchange controls and pricing in the value chain for Ethiopia’s coffee - its most important export crop. Relying on unique pricing and cost data, we find that coffee exporters are willing to incur losses during exporting by offering high prices for coffee locally in order to access scarce foreign exchange.

The impact of smallholder farmers’ participation in avocado export markets on the labor market, farm yields, sales prices, and incomes in Kenya

Smallholder producers in sub-Saharan Africa are often unable integrate into markets and access high-value opportunities by effectively participating in global chains for high-value fresh produce. Using data from a survey of large avocado farmers in Kenya, this study examines the determinants and impacts of smallholder-producer participation in avocado export markets on labor inputs, farm yields, sales prices, and incomes, using a switching regression framework to control for selection effects.

Smallholder value chains as complex adaptive systems: a conceptual framework


Smallholder value chains are dynamic, changing over time in sudden, unpredictable ways as they adapt to shocks. Understanding these dynamics and adaptation is essential for these chains to remain competitive in turbulent markets. Many guides to value chain development, though they focus welcome attention on snapshots of current structure and performance, pay limited attention to the dynamic forces affecting these chains or to adaptation. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Value Chains in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Presents original empirical research on value chains in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Studies a large variety of countries and sectors
  • Offers contributions by leading scholars

Development largely depends on how given places participate in global economic processes.

Coffee Value Chains on the Move: Evidence from Ethiopia
International coffee markets are changing quickly due to market liberalization, increasingly stringent quality and safety standards, and the development of specialty coffee markets.  Coffee production takes place primarily in developing countries, and such changes could have significant impacts on smallholder coffee producers. In Africa south of the Sahara, Ethiopia represents the largest coffee market actor, and the country’s coffee sector has seen improved productivity and increased prices in recent years. However, according to a recent study[1] from IFPRI, the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), and Bonn University, a wide range of challenges have slowed this transformation for smallholder farmers, who make up 95 percent of coffee producers in the country.
Participatory market chain approach (PMCA): User guide

This tool was developed by CIP and partners to stimulate commercial, technological and institutional innovations and generate business opportunities that benefit small-scale farmers. This methodology structures a participatory process that involves different chain actors (public and private), including smallholders and business sector, focus on market demand, guided by facilitators and organized around three phases (diagnosis, analysis of opportunities and development of innovations).

Contract farming
Contract farming involves production by farmers under agreement with buyers for their outputs. This arrangement can help integrate small-scale farmers into modern agricultural value chains, providing them with inputs, technical assistance, and assured markets. Critics contend that contract partners may subject farmers to abuses.
Latin American experiences of application of the inclusive value chains approach

source: (written in Spanish)

• The publication collects the perspectives for the application of value chains and their consequences for rural development, as well as the evolution of the articulation of small producers with markets.

Successful Practices in Value Chain Development

This report summarizes the experiences of the consulting firm J.E. Austin Associates in performing value chain analysis and interventions.

- Base project designs on good market analysis and direct them toward market opportunity.

- Conduct direct industry benchmarking to identify, design, and generate stakeholder buy-in.

- Leverage value chain analysis to empower stakeholders to participate in improving their sector competitiveness through sustainable interventions.

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