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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.

Gender in Value Chains - Practical Toolkit to Integrate a Gender Perspective in Agricultural Value Chain Development

This toolkit provides guidance on conducting a gender-sensitive value chain selection and analysis through data collection and participatory methodologies. Suggested tools and methodologies come from USAID, GIZ, ILO, Oxfam, and SNV among others. This document provides a range of tools to allow the user to design her or his own analysis.

Gender and Value Chain Development

Ensuring that gender issues are taken into consideration in value chain-related interventions is vital for facilitating the development of inclusive value chains that benefit both women and men. However, knowledge among practitioners and policy makers on the gender aspects of value chain interventions is still limited. To start filling this void, the Evaluation Department of DANIDA has commissioned this report. The overall purpose of the study is to examine which gender issues are important when and where in value chains based on findings of existing evaluations. 

Improving Opportunities for Women in Smallholder-based Supply Chains Business case and practical guidance for international food companies

Recent research commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shows that by increasing women’s participation in smallholder sourcing and support programs, many international food companies can improve crop productivity and quality, grow the smallholder supply base, and improve access to high-value markets. The guide Improving Opportunities for Women in Smallholder-based Supply Chains: Business case and practical guidance for international food companies presents the results of this research in a practical format.

Promoting Gender Equitable Opportunities In Agricultural Value Chains

Gender issues fundamentally shape the totality of production, distribution, and consumption within an economy but have often been overlooked in value chain development. From production to processing to disposal, gendered patterns of behavior condition men’s and women’s jobs and tasks, the distribution of resources and benefits derived from income generating activities in the chain, and the efficiency and competitiveness of value chains in the global market.

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

Chain Value is a potential sector to generate gender equality by promoting women entrepreneurship and integration in the labor market. However, it is marginally analyzed. The aim of this guide is to demonstrate how gender perspective can be incorporated at several stages of the chain value to produce development strategies and with particular concern for the informal sector. The guide is intended for value chain practitioners, gender consultants, researchers and policy makers. The guide is implemented amid the traditional Ethiopian wearing sector.

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: https://cipotato.org/es/comunicados-de-prensa/lanzamiento-libro-experiencias-latinoamericanas-aplicacion-enfoque-cadenas-valor-inclusivas/ (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.

Offering Rainfall Insurance to Informal Insurance Groups: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Ethiopia

We show theoretically that the presence of basis risk in index insurance makes it a complement to informal risk sharing, implying that index insurance crowds-in risk sharing and leading to a prediction that demand will be higher among groups of individuals that can share risk. We report results from rural Ethiopia from a first attempt to market weather insurance products to existing informal risk-sharing groups. The groups were offered training on risk management and the possible benefits of holding insurance.

Index Insurance for Managing Climate-related Agricultural Risk: Toward a Strategic Research Agenda

In October 2011,the CGIAR program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the Index Insurance Innovation Initiative (I4) organized a jointworkshop hosted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The workshop was designed to identify and address issues surrounding index‐based insurance for smallholder farmers and the rural poor in the developing world. Emphasis was placed on identifying key areas of research and learning for the academic and policy community to pursue.

Adoption of Weather-Index Insurance: Learning from Willingness to Pay Among a Panel of Households in Rural Ethiopia

In this paper we examine which farmers would be early entrants into weather index insurance markets in Ethiopia, were such markets to develop on a large scale. We do this by examining the determinants of willingness to pay for weather insurance among 1,400 Ethiopian households that have been tracked for 15 years as part of the Ethiopia Rural Household Survey. This provides both historical and current information with which to assess the determinants of demand. We find that educated, rich, and proactive individuals were more likely to purchase insurance.

An Experiment on the Impact of Weather Shocks and Insurance on Risky Investment

We conduct a framed field experiment in rural Ethiopia to test the seminal hypothesis that insurance provision induces farmers to take greater, yet profitable, risks. Farmers participated in a game protocol in which they were asked to make a simple decision: whether to purchase fertilizer, and if so, how many bags. The return to fertilizer was dependent on a stochastic weather draw made in each round of the game protocol. In later rounds of the game protocol, a random selection of farmers made this decision in the presence of a stylized weather-index insurance contract.

Impact of Third-Party Contract Enforcement in Agricultural Markets - A Field Experiment in Vietnam

Asymmetry of information is a fundamental problem in agricultural markets. Production contracts remain incomplete if product quality attributes measured by the buying company remain unobservable for the selling farmer. Opportunistic buyers would report lower than actual output quality, negatively affecting farmers’ compensation given it is directly linked to quality. When farmers factor in the buyer’s opportunistic behavior, underinvestment may occur, negatively affecting farm productivity.

The Value of Customized Insurance for Farmers in Rural Bangladesh

Farmers in rural Bangladesh face multiple sources of uninsured risk to agricultural production and household assets. In this paper, we present results from an experimental demand - elicitation exercise in rural Bangladesh to shed light on smallholder farmers’ interest in formal insurance products. We propose a suite of insurance and savings products, and we randomly vary the price of one insurance option (area - yield insurance) and the presence of one of the savings options (group savings).

Innovations in Insuring the Poor

Risk and poverty are inextricably linked. Susceptibility to risk is a defining feature of what it means to be poor. Poor people often live in environments characterized by high weather and disease risk, and it is poor households that have the fewest tools to deal with drought, floods, and disease when they occur. Breaking the link between risk and poverty by insuring poor people both lessens the affliction of poverty and allows poor people to participate in income and growth.

Evaluating the Long-Term Impact of Antipoverty Interventions in Bangladesh

This paper provides an overview of a research project that assessed the long-term impact of three antipoverty interventions in Bangladesh—the introduction of new agricultural technologies, educational transfers, and microfinance—on monetary and non monetary measures of well-being. This paper begins by setting out the conceptual framework, methodology, and empirical methods used for the evaluation of long-term impacts. It discusses the context of the evaluations and the longitudinal data used.

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:

PROFIT Zambia Impact Assessment

Production, Finance, and Improved Technologies (PROFIT) was a multi-sector value chain intervention in Zambia from 2005-2011. It focused on upgrading retail inputs and services and measuring the effect on beef and cotton value chains. Among the findings were:

- Shifts in approach, emphasis and location during the course of program complicated or invalidated parts of the research plan.

- The combination of quantitative and qualitative evidence presented suggests positive outcomes and impacts for smallholder participants in the project's beef and retail activities.

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."

Guides for Value Chain Development: A Comparative Review

This report presents the results of a review of 11 guides for value chain development (VCD). The review compares the  concepts and methods endorsed and assesses the strengths and limitations of the guides for steering development practice. Overall, the guides provide a useful framework for understanding markets and engaging with chain stakeholders, with a strong emphasis on strengthening institutions and achieving sustainability of interventions.

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.

Pathways out of Poverty: Tools for Value Chain Development Practitioners

This toolkit aims to equip value chain development programmers to design effective interventions that reach and impact the very poor. It profiles tools that are particularly applicable in the value chain selection and value chain analysis phases of a project, as well as assessment tools that can be used throughout the project cycle. Many tools are used by value chain development practitioners to guide value chain selection 4 and value chain analysis,5 of which several focus on understanding and benefiting particular populations. 

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.

Randomized Controlled Trials for the Impact Evaluation of Development Initiatives

This Institutional Learning and Change Initiative working paper provides a thoughtful discussion of the statistical assumptions underlying randomized controlled trials as well as guidance for implementation and interpreting results.

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. 

A Toolkit on Collecting Gender & Assets Data in Qualitative & Quantitative Program Evaluations

This toolkit details the proper questions to ask and best practices when designing surveys about intrahousehold asset allocation. It stresses the importance of gender for key development outcomes such as child nutrition and education. Finally it emphasizes the importance of quantitative and qualitative methods and the challenges and benefits associated with each.

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.

Contract Farming Handbook

Sound planning, appropriate skills and adequate approaches for starting-up and operating contract farming (CF) schemes are key to success and sustainability. Therefore GIZ has issued the “Contract Farming Handbook”, which provides a practical and process-oriented approach guiding practitioners through sound planning, starting up, consolidation and up-scaling of CF schemes.

Identifying Opportunities for Nutrition-Sensitive Value-Chain Interventions

In the past, discussions about food security have typically focused on thequantity of food that people eat rather than the quality.  However, micronutrient deficiencies are becoming increasingly recognized as a serious threat to the health and economic development of low-income populations. As a result, nutrition is garnering more and more attention in the development community.

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.

A participatory and Area-Based Approach to Agricultural Development

This guide from CIAT is the first of a four-part series on good practices for value chain development. It emphasizes a participatory approach to build the marketing capibilities of small farmers. 

This strategy paper provides an overview of CIAT’s approach to rural agroenterprise development. The participatory and area based or “territorial” approach is made up from a number of methods and tools that have been developed by the Rural Agroenterprise Development Project team and its partners through project work in Latin America, Africa and Asia over the past 10 years.

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.

Rapid Assessment Tool for Gender in Crop Value Chains

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.

Women's empowerment in agriculture index (WEAI)

Women play a critical and potentially transformative role in agricultural growth in developing countries, but they face persistent obstacles and economic constraints limiting further inclusion in agriculture. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) measures the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector in an effort to identify ways to overcome those obstacles and constraints. The Index is a significant innovation in its field and aims to increase understanding of the connections between women’s empowerment, food security, and agricultural growth.

Toward a sustainable food system: Reducing food loss and waste

Reducing food loss and waste can contribute to food security and sustainability. Measuring food loss and waste, identifying where in the food system it occurs, and developing effective policies along the value chain are essential first steps toward addressing the problem. We need to set concrete targets at regional and country levels to reduce food loss and waste. For developed countries, the focus should be on waste; for developing countries, the focus in the short term should be on food loss, but also consider best practices for reducing waste in the longer term.

Building competitiveness in Africa's agriculture : a guide to value chain concepts and applications

This guide from the World Banks presents 13 tools for conducting value chain analysis with accompanying case studies for each. The tools include recommendations for selecting value chains, assessing market opportunities, benchmarking and comparing value chains to identify gaps, scaling replicable business models, and monitoring value chain projects.

Women in Non-Production Roles in Agriculture: A Literature Review of Promising Practices

The USAID Feed the Future Initiative supports the development of agriculture as an engine of economic growth, food security, and poverty reduction. Key to the success of this initiative is the empowerment of women, who play a vital role in advancing agricultural development, food security, and nutritional outcomes. Much of Feed the Future’s agricultural programmatic support to rural women thus far has been concentrated at the production stage.

Mozambique Agricultural Value Chain Analysis

USAID/Mozambique commissioned a value chain analysis (VCA) to prioritize and guide interventions within and across target value chains. The analysis targeted nine value chains, as summarized below: 

Sierra Leone Agricultural Value Chain Analysis

A Feed the Future (FTF) program is being planned for Sierra Leone, encompassing diversified, nutrition- sensitive agriculture. It will focus primarily on one district (Tonkolili or Bombali), to be identified per research and discussions with the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL).

Guides for Value-Chain development: A comparative review

This article reviews 11 guides for value-chain analysis and development. It compares the guides’ concepts, objectives, and methods and identifies strengths, weaknesses, and gaps. The assessment characterizes the state of the art for designing interventions and interactions that seek to build value chains with smallholders. The article is organized as follows: the next section presents the methodology applied in carrying out the review, the following section presents the results of this review, and the final section provides concluding comments.

Commodity Systems Assessment Methodology for Value Chain Problem and Project Identification: A first step in food loss reduction

This manual provides a methodology for identifying problems and causes leading to postharvest food losses along an agricultural value chain. It describes the process of finding solutions that reduce food losses. The manual is organized as follows. The first three chapters highlight the importance of reducing food losses and describe the agricultural value chain. Chapter 4 identifies 26 priority components where food losses can occur along agricultural value chains.

Participatory market chain approach (PMCA): Prototype guide for integrating gender into participatory market chain approach

The Prototype guide for integrating gender into the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) seeks to build understanding on gender issues into value chain interventions and to create the capacities of PMCA's facilitators in applying gender analysis and developing gender-sensitive strategies to promote equitable opportunities for men and women to access to and benefit from the PMCA intervention. This guide is a prototype document developed from lessons learned during field research and exchanges between CIP researchers and PMCA practitioners from East Africa and the Andes.

Value Chain Analysis for Policy Making Methodological Guidelines and country cases for a Quantitative Approach

These guidelines provide users with the key notions required to carry out analyses of policy impacts by means of a value chain approach and show how to do it in a practical way by making use of relevant tools. In particular, the reader will find this material useful to:

Developing gender-sensitive value chains - A guiding framework

The purpose of this publication as a part of the FAO series on sustainable food value chain development is to facilitate the systematic integration of gender equality dimensions into value chain development programmes and projects. It raises awareness on gender inequalities and discusses the importance of addressing these dimensions in value chain development, while also building a common approach for work on gender-sensitive value chain development.

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.

Livestock and Fish value chains are unique and have distinct features. For instance, the products, such as milk and meat, are of higher value and in some cases are bulky and highly perishable. Also, delivery of some inputs and services such as animal health service is costly. In addition, at the livestock keepers’ level, livestock are predominantly multi-functional, often kept not only to produce milk or meat for home consumption and sale, but also to produce manure for fertilizing croplands, to pull ploughs and are also considered a major capital assets.

This manual is the reference book for the ValueLinks methodology. ValueLinks is the name given to a systematic compilation of action-oriented methods for promoting economic development with a value chain perspective. It provides essential know-how on ways to enhance employment and the business income of micro and small-sized enterprises and farmers by promoting the value chains they are operating in. The ValueLinks manual is intended for use by development projects or by public agencies promoting specific agribusiness, handicraft or manufacturing sub-sectors of the economy.

Women play a critical and potentially transformative role in agricultural growth in developing countries, but they face persistent obstacles and economic constraints limiting further inclusion in agriculture. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) measures the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector in an effort to identify ways to overcome those obstacles and constraints. The Index is a significant innovation in its field and aims to increase understanding of the connections between women’s empowerment, food security, and agricultural growth.

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

 

The following publications are based on the design or implementation of 5Capitals:

Major corporations and multi-national companies have long struggled with how to connect with and include small-scale suppliers. Connecting these two groups – smallholder farms and emerging markets – requires creative solutions to allow benefits for both sides.

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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