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Key issues in regional growth and integration in Southern Africa

The decade to 2015 saw rapid growth in trade between Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. Much of this growth reflected South African exports to its neighbours of diversified manufactured goods to meet growing urban consumption and to supply inputs to mining and infrastructure. While most SADC countries, aside from South Africa, grew quite rapidly over this period, their exports remained oriented to a narrow range of minerals and agricultural commodities destined to go outside the region.

Smallholder value chains as complex adaptive systems: a conceptual framework

Purpose

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.

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.

Feed the Future Learning Agenda Literature Review: Expanded Markets, Value Chains, and Increased Investment

The objective of this paper is to summarize available evidence on key questions for the Feed the Future Learning Agenda theme on expanded markets, value chains and increased investments, and document expert opinion on gaps in the scientific literature for this theme that are in most urgent need of attention.

Among the gaps identified are the lack of rigorous impact assessments of value chain interventions. Specifically "the vast majority of the data available measure outcomes that suggest reductions in poverty rather than quantify impacts on poverty."

Can Dairy Value Chain Projects Change Gender Norms in Rural Bangladesh? Impacts on Assets, Gender Norms, and Time Use

Using both quantitative and qualitative research methods, the Gender, Agriculture, and Assets Project (GAAP) worked with CARE-Bangladesh to assess the impact of the Strengthening the Dairy Value Chain Project (SDVCP) on (1) women’s ownership of assets, men’s ownership of assets, and jointly held assets; (2) gender norms around asset ownership and control; (3) gender norms regarding decisionmaking in these areas surrounding the dairy value chain; and (4) trade-offs and time costs involved in project participation.

Governance Structures in Smallholder Pig Value Chains in Uganda: Constraints and Opportunities for Upgrading

This paper analyses governance structures in Uganda’s smallholder pig value chains by applying the New Institutional Economics framework. It utilises cross sectional and qualitative survey data from randomly selected pig value chain actors in 4 districts. A multinomial logit model is applied to assess the determinants of vertical integration among pig traders. The findings indicate that most relationships at the pig production node of the value chain are based on spot market governance structures supported by personal relationships and trust.

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:

LINK methodology: A Participatory Guide to Business Models that Link Smallholders to Markets

Helps actors understand the current functioning of the market chain and key business models, design innovations that empower producer groups to engage more effectively and buyers to act in ways more amenable to smallholder farmers.

5Capitals: A Tool for Assessing the Poverty Impact of Value Chain Development

Facilitate the design and/or assessment of interventions for value chain development, taking into account the circumstances and needs of upstream-chain actors (namely, stallholder producing households and small and medium enterprises that have direct relations with smallholders). The tool has been tested in 20+ countries in S Asia, Africa, and LAC.

Quantifying Value Chain Analysis in the Context of Livestock Systems in Developing Countries

This paper attempts to inject more rigorous quantitative methods into value chain analysis. Approaches examined include System Dyanimcs (SD) that model flows and relationships between actors with which one can examine the impact of alternative scenarios over time. Agent-Based Models (ABM) model individual farmers, institutions, and social groupings. In SD models, actors are assumed to be the same whereas in ABM models a set of heterogenous characteristics may be defined for each agent.

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.

Promoting Gender Equitable Opportunities in Agricultural Value Chains

This handbook helps practitioners become familiar with how to analyze and strategies to address gender issues in agricultural value chains.

Integrating Very Poor Producers into Value Chains

The Integrating Very Poor Producers into Value Chains Field Guide (Field Guide) is intended to provide the field-level practitioner with tools and applications to impact very poor households. The intended outcome of the Field Guide is to increase market engagement for very poor households, especially women, through enterprise development activities.

Making the strongest links: A practical guide to mainstreaming gender analysis in value chain development

A new publication from the ILO provides groundbreaking methods for incorporating gender concerns into the different stages of value chain analysis and strengthening the links essential for gender equality and promoting sustainable pro-poor growth and development strategies.

Toolkit Gender in Value Chains

This book by Agri-Profocus provides a range of tools for integrating a gender perspective at different stages of value chain development interventions.

Women play crucial roles in agricultural value chains. However, their contribution often remains invisible. For producers and other chain actors and supporters, this can lead to inefficient chains. In consequence, business opportunities may suffer and profits will be lower and/ or unequally distributed. Moreover, existing gender inequities will be perpetuated. 

Evaluating Value Chain Interventions: A Review of Recent Evidence

This ILRI discussion paper reviews 20 value chain interventions and discusses the econometric techniques used to address the validity of findings. It explores the use of propensity score matching, instrumental variables, difference in difference, regression discontinuity, and randomized controlled trials. Qualitative and participatory methods are also examined with the idea that they may be able to better capture the complexity of value chain processes.

A Methodological Toolkit for Promoting Business Partnerships in Agrifood Chains

This FAO report provides tools to help include small producers in the production process and the market from the value chain perspective. It contains information on how to select a value chain for an intervention, make partnerships, and monitor and evaluate the success of those partnerships.

This methodological proposal is aimed at promoting and developing business partnerships. It provides tools to help include small producers in the production process and the market from the value chain perspective.

Identification and Analysis of Smallholder Producers' Constraints: Applications to Tanzania and Uganda

This article puts forward a method for the analysis of constraints faced by developing countries’ smallholder producers. It is consistent with theories of constraints, efficient in terms of cost and researchers’ time, and accessible to a non-technical audience. A hybrid of workshop discussion and individual data collection, it also draws on data and analyses available in most developing countries.

Promoting Value Chains of Neglected and Underutilized Species

This guide from the Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species draws on several successful country experiences promoting and developing value chains for underutilized crops. It focuses on the particular characteristics of neglected and underutilized crops and how to develop supply and demand based strategies to improve pro-poor development and preserve biodiversity.

Gender Mainstreaming in Value Chain Development

This manual is aimed at advisors who work on economic development and value chain development issues. Women and men are likely to be involved at different stages of the chain. Those areas where women are involved are often less visible but may constitute critical links at which change and/or upgrading should occur in order to bring about development of the chain (home working, putting out, temporary work, etc.). Addressing those stages in the chain is therefore indispensable in developing the chain.

Review of gender and value chain analysis, development and evaluation toolkits

Included in the Annex of a literature review on gender and value chain toolkits, this rapid assessment tool for gender and crop value chains has been developed to collect basic data on men and women’s involvement in crop value chains, their roles and constraints and existing opportunities for promoting gender equality through value chain development. Information from the tool is meant to provide a rough assessment of what kinds of interventions would improve benefits of value chain development to men and women farmers.

Eastern and southern Africa agriculture value chain learning hub:Market needs study

In an effort to better understand agriculture value chains market needs in relation to CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) learning hubs, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) conducted a market needs study to assess the current situation and find any possible common ground between the East and southern Africa (ESA) PIM learning hub and the needs and expectations of key actors in the market.

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