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Inclusive Value Chains / Markets and Rural Poverty / The role of women producer organizations in agricultural value chains Practical lessons from Africa and India


Inclusive Value Chains – A Pathway Out of Poverty

Malcolm Harper, 2010, 312 p., USD 58.00, ISBN: 978-981-4293-89-1

“Modern” integrated value chains need not necessarily exclude the smallest producers as this book aims to explain in detail by case studies. The issue is particularly topical in India, where modern retailing has come to the scene only recently and the majority of whose population are still small farmers and artisans. Following a brief introduction to the problem, 14 case studies from India are presented to illustrate how it is being solved in practice. The book also discusses the impact of organized retailing on small-scale traders, and finally analyses the case studies for an overview, with conclusions and learnings drawn from them. Inclusive Value Chains shows by practical examples that it is possible to link the smallest producers of fresh produce, commodities and handicrafts profitably, to modern integrated markets, within the country of origin as well as abroad.

Markets and Rural Poverty: Upgrading in value chains

Jonathan Mitchell and Christopher Coles, 2011, Earthscan, IDRC / 2011-01-01; 280 p., ISBN: 978-0-415-69412-4 / e-ISBN: 978-1-55250-520-5

This book explores the place of poor people within a rich variety of value chains, focusing upon lagging, rural regions in Africa and Asia, and how they can “upgrade” within such chains. Upgrading is a key concept for value chain analysis and refers to the acquisition of technological capabilities and market linkages that enable firms to improve their competitiveness and move into higher-value activities.

The authors examine a range of evidence to assess whether the “bottom billion” people, living mainly in the rural areas of low-income countries, can improve their position through productive strategies and, if so, how? They propose an innovative conceptual framework of value chain upgrading for some of the most marginal producers in the poorest local economies. They demonstrate how interventions can improve poverty and the environment for poor people supplying a wide range of services and agricultural and food products to local, regional and global markets. This analysis is based on empirical research conducted in Senegal, Mali, Tanzania, India, Nepal, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The main focus is on poverty, environment and gender outcomes of upgrading interventions, and represents one of the key challenges of contemporary development economics. The book is available for download on the IDRC website.

The role of women producer organizations in agricultural value chains Practical lessons from Africa and India

Aziz Elbehri and Maria Lee, 2011, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome

Inducing institutional and organizational change to foster greater economic opportunities for small holders is often best achieved by enabling stakeholders to directly confront and compare alternative models of development operating within socio-economic and political environments different from their own. It is this basic premise that motivated FAO to initiate an Exposure and Exchange Programme (EEP): to enable selected women farmers’ organizations from West and Central Africa and India’s SEWA (Self-Employed Women Association) to exchange and learn from their experiences. T

he week-long EEP, held in November 2010 and hosted by SEWA in Ahmedabad, state of Gujarat, India, provided an arena to showcase the SEWA development model in action and for African and Indian women leaders to hold group discussions and exchanges on the roles of small holders in markets. The discussions and exchanges enabled the FAO facilitating team to identify and formulate a number of important insights and lessons about capacity building. This report critically evaluates the SEWA model and draws conclusions relevant to African women producers organizations to better meet the challenges of raising Africa’s agricultural potential, improve incomes for small farmers, and ensure greater food security.