Chain empowerment - Supporting african farmers to develop market

Publication proposée par Michel Pernot du Breuil


This text is a book which shows how Africa’s smallholder farmers can earn more from their crops and livestock by taking control over the value chains they are part of, chains that link them with consumers in Africa’s town and cities.

The book describes two basic strategies that groups of farmers can use to improve their incomes : vertical and horizontal integration.
- Vertical integration means taking on additional activities in the value chain.
- Horizontal integration means becoming more involved in managing the value chain itself by farmers’improving their access to and management of information, their knowledge of the market, their control over contacts, or their cooperation with others actors in the chain.

This book contains 19 case studies showing how groups of farmers throught out Africa have adopted one or both of these strategies to improve their incomes.


The remaining chapters in this book focus on the concept of value chains and how to improve them.

- Chapter 1, introduction.
- Chapter 2, Introducing value chains, describes a framework for analysing the farmers’ position in a value chain, and for making strategic decisions on how to help them improve it. It presents four roles that farmers may play in the chain.
- Chapters 3-6 present cases describing how groups of farmers have improved their position in the chain, either by improving how they perform the role, or by taking on new roles. These chapters also describe the role of the intermediary organization in helping them to do so.
- Chapter 3, Chain actors, describes how three groups of producers improved their position as chain actors by improving their production techniques and finding markets for their produce.
- Chapter 4, Chain partners, tells how various groups have been able to take on more management roles in the chain, so becoming chain partners.
- Chapter 5, Chain activity integrators, shows how farmers’ groups shifted from being chain actors to chain activity integrators by adding value to their produce, for example by processing it.
- Chapter 6, Chain co-owners, describes how farmers have become chain co-owners through a combination of increasing the types of activities they perform, as well as increasing their ability to manage the chain itself.
- Chapter 7, Strategies for chain empowerment, distils lessons from these cases. It describes the strategies that the intermediary organization can use to help farmers with improving their position in the chain.
- Chapter 8, Facilitating chain development, describes the various roles that the intermediary organization may consider playing in promoting value chains.
- Chapter 9, Resources, gives a brief overview of various tools that intermediary organizations can use in analyzing and facilitating the development of value chains. It also lists relevant resource materials and provides details on the contributors to this book.