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Challenges and approaches for inclusive value-chain development: introduction

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Growing demand for higher-value agricultural products presents new opportunities for smallholders and market agents in developing countries. However, responding to these opportunities can require significant investment for enhancing productive capacities, business skills, and infrastructure.

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, and food processors recognize the opportunity — and need — to support the integration of smallholders and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) into value chains. Chapters in this part shed light on critical issues for the design, implementation, and assessment of programs that support value-chain development (VCD).

Chapter 1 (Donovan et al.) identifies the strengths and limitations of widely used methodological guides for designing value-chain interventions. Chapter 2 (Stoian et al.) stresses the importance of adopting a livelihoods perspective when engaging smallholders in VCD and advocates an asset-based, multi-chain approach toward this end. Chapter 3 (Donovan and Poole) applies an asset-based approach to assess smallholder capacity-building interventions for participation in certified coffee markets. Chapter 4 (Minot and Sawyer) reviews experiences with contract farming — a specific private-sector-initiated intervention in value chains, the inclusive nature of which has been questioned in the literature.

These chapters provide guidance on the design of future value-chain interventions and investments for smallholders and SMEs, found in Devaux, A., Torero, M., Donovan, J. & Horton, D. (eds). Innovation for Inclusive Value-Chain Development: Successes and Challenges, p. 37-46.

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