Innovation for inclusive value-chain development: Successes and challenges
This publication (PDF) by IFPRI assesses how to improve the performance of agricultural value chains to benefit large numbers of low-income and poor smallholders. The book consists of 14 papers that present results of recent work associated with CGIAR and its partners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The papers identify challenges to smallholder participation in new and expanding markets and the resulting benefits. Methods for evaluating complex interventions that involve innovation and value-chain development are presented, along with empirical results of evaluation studies. Two types of intervention appear critical for allowing smallholders to participate in growing markets: ones that provide physical infrastructure and information technology to connect smallholders to markets; and ones that create or strengthen complementary institutions that reduce the high marketing risks and transaction costs faced by smallholders, due to their small production surpluses. From an analysis of the cases presented, emerging issues and policy implications are discussed, and knowledge gaps and priorities for future applied research and evaluation are identified. The book also explores the challenges livestock-dependent people face; how urbanization and advancing technologies affect linkages; ways to increase gender inclusion and economic growth; and the different roles various types of platforms play in value-chain development. Improving the performance of agricultural value chains has the potential to benefit large numbers of low-income and poor people, including a large proportion of women. However, the research reported in this book indicates that poor households require minimum assets to successfully participate in value chain development. Women are especially disadvantaged when it comes to access to land, labor, credit, and infrastructure. The implication is that gender issues need to be considered specifically in the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions.