Opportunities for sustainable, green and inclusive agricultural value chains in ACP countries

Opportunities for sustainable, green and inclusive agricultural value chains in ACP countries
By M J Westlake
Based on case studies by V Antwi, R Best, K S Pacific and P Wagubi
CTA/FAO, 2015

98 pages
Available and downloadable from CTA publications website.

19 February 2015. Press release – Wageningen. Smallholders and value chains: a winning formula.

Value chains are crucial to transforming agriculture in developing states. As value chains become more inclusive, small-scale farmers can gain access to previously inaccessible markets, receive important information to improve cultivation techniques or benefit from new sources of financing. The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) teamed up to investigate 18 value chains in 11 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The aim was to identify and describe practices and structures best suited to ensure commercial and environmental sustainability and the inclusion of smallholder farmers.

  • The value chains featured in the book were all set up through private sector initiatives. They revolve around the output of a single crop or livestock product in a single country and, in most cases, involve exporting at least part of the output.
  • Some case studies examine recent developments in long-established value chains, such as cocoa in Cameroon, pineapples in Ghana, sugar in Uganda, tea in Kenya, citrus in Belize and mangoes in Haiti. Others focus on enterprises that were established relatively recently to compete with imports or with existing enterprises. These include eggs in Jamaica, milk in Kenya and cocoa in Grenada. In the Pacific, new value chains are described for taro and papaya, which were set up to take advantage of unexpected markets.

Contract farming arrangements with smallholders is a formula that receives detailed scrutiny, including the case of rubber producers in Liberia, maize farmers in Ghana and hot pepper growers in Jamaica. Also examined is how linking producers to services such as quarantine treatment can help them to export products and how partnerships, for example with NGOs, can help isolated producers to overcome production and processing hurdles and tap new markets.

The studies reveal that the integration of farmers into value chains can have mutually beneficial outcomes for the farmers themselves and for other value chain participants, making a strong case for linkages between input suppliers, producers and players involved in processing and marketing.

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