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Ross and West (2013) The Value Chain Approach to rural agricultural Development. Understanding the principal determinants of pro-poor outcomes

  • This paper seeks to better understand the determinants of pro-poor outcomes in value chain projects. It is motivated by a desire to examine skepticism regarding the widespread use of value chain projects as poverty-alleviation tools. The thesis is guided by the following questions
    • i. Can value chain approaches to rural development benefit the poor in a direct manner?
    • ii. Under what circumstances can value chain approaches to rural development achieve the most substantive and significant pro-poor outcomes?
  • Based on an IFAD’s value chain project, it would be expected to achieve pro-poor outcomes. First, the commodities around which each value chain component is built possess a relatively high degree of labor intensity. Second, numerous precautions are taken to protect poor producers from the negative effects of climate change, which are otherwise projected to be quite severe in the target region. Third, the risks associated with commodity perishability are somewhat reduced through the development of market linkages, outgrower schemes and storage capacity. Fifth, a variety of mechanisms are put in place to help smooth producer incomes. Finally, horizontal coordination is promoted extensively through the development and strengthening of farmers’ organizations, and livestock producers’ organizations.
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