Vice Versa special edition on food chains
Vice Versa has published an English version of their special edition on food chains. The edition focuses on the effect of agricultural value chains on the development of farmers, on their incomes and the economy.
Marc Broere and Joris Tielens state the following in their preface: “Much agricultural produce comes from small farmers in developing countries. Not only the traditional commodities such as coffee, cocoa and tea, but increasingly often fruit and vegetables. But do the Kenyan beans in Western supermarkets really contribute to the development of those who produce them or not? In this special edition of Vice Versa we look at the effect of agricultural value chains on the development of farmers, on their incomes and the economy. We also look at what the development cooperation sector is doing to make those value chains more efficient or more inclusive. As most farmers don’t produce for international trade, but for local value chains, we’ve included reports from the field, from a number of countries including Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Mali and Uganda.
Trade offers opportunities in developing countries, but there are risks associated with the inequality of power between producers and buyers. How do we go about understanding these? This edition contains many stories from those involved: on the French beans from Kenya, for example, that don’t live up to the strict European requirements; DADTCO’s mobile cassava processor; and local processing of Ethiopian coffee. We end this special edition with lessons on how to move forward, including the division of roles between government, business and NGOs. As Ruerd Ruben puts it in the closing round table discussion: perhaps it’s time for more mandatory requirements concerning fair production and trade.”