Including small-scale farmers in profitable value chains

This paper reports on six case studies commissioned by CTA to examine factors contributing to the success of inclusive value chains in ACP countries. All six studies are from Africa. They cover: (1) jatropha chains in Burkina Faso and Mali; (2) oilseeds in Uganda; (3) litchi in Madagascar; (4) cashew in Benin; (5) milk products in Senegal; and (6) bananas, pigs and aquaculture in Uganda.
There is a range of definitions of inclusive value chains but such chains are generally considered to be those that seek to obtain supply from poorer farmers, thereby maximising farmers’ access to market opportunities. Recent developments in production and marketing systems do not automatically benefit small-scale farmers and conscious efforts need to be made to achieve positive results for them. Even so, not all farmers can be included, for reasons such as their location, farm size and natural resources, capacity to meet increasingly strict product standards, and the farmers’ aversion to risk.

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    Executive Summary
    1. What do we mean by ‘inclusive value chains’?
    2. What are the main factors affecting success of inclusive chains?
    3. How can trust be promoted?
    4. What are the risks faced by farmers?
    5. What are the gender implications of greater chain involvement?
    6. Can producer organisations play an important role?
    7. What are the alternative approaches to linking farmers with buyers?
    8. How important is finance to successful chain development?
    9. What role can technical assistance play?

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Including small-scale farmers in profitable value chains