Two new books on value chains from CTA
CTA's value chains programme has recently brought out two new publications. They are:
Structured grain trading systems in Africa
This manual describes how structured trading systems work for grains such as maize, sorghum and millet, as well as commodities such as groundnuts and soybeans, Africa's most important staples. Structured trading is how most grain is traded in the developed world, and is now expanding in Africa. The manual explains how the system works, from postharvest handling, warehousing and financing to trading on a commodity exchange. It describes the mysteries of standards, explains how market information is used, and explores the details of trade contracts and dispute resolution.
Guides for value chain development: A comparative review
In recent years, governments, donors and NGOs have increasingly embraced value chain development (VCD) for stimulating economic growth and combating rural poverty. In general, VCD aims to facilitate the building of mutually beneficial links between smallholders and other chain actors, such as processors, exporters and retailers that interact for the production and marketing of a given product.
This report presents the results of a review of 11 guides for VDC. 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. However, the guides often lack discussion of the conditions necessary at different levels for VCD to advance development objectives and achieve sustainability. We suggest three areas for this reflection and debate: 1) concepts, methods and tools for addressing the needs of the poor in value chains; 2) tools for deepening analysis and addressing variations in the context; and 3) mechanisms for mutual learning on the design and implementation of VCD. The report concludes with various recommendations for guide authors and donors that support VCD.
Both publications can be ordered from CTA's Publishing Section
New book brings together the main findings of CTA's 2012 conference on value chains
Making the connection: Value chains for transforming smallholder agriculture was the title of the conference CTA organized in Addis Ababa in November 2012. This new book, published under our "Policy Pointers" series, summarises the main topics discussed at that conference and highlights the major policy issues to emerge during the discussions. Making value chains more inclusive enables smallholder farmers to access markets that have previously been denied to them. To achieve this requires, among others, the right environment for growth, both domestically and for international trade, improved information flows, including through the use of ICTs, and, in particular, the willingness to innovate.
The 'Making the Connection' conference discussed a wide range of issues including improving linkages between small farmers and buyers, the development of intra-regional trade, promoting an enabling environment, improving value chain finance, making chains greener, improving value chain and agribusiness training, the employment implications of chain development, certification, and business development services.
Go to the Conference Web Site