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Integrating Very Poor Producers into Value Chains


The Integrating Very Poor Producers into Value Chains Field Guide (Field Guide) is intended to provide the field-level practitioner with tools and applications to impact very poor households. The intended outcome of the Field Guide is to increase market engagement for very poor households, especially women, through enterprise development activities.

The Field Guide focuses on allowing practitioners to more effectively reach the very poor, defined as those persons in the bottom half of the population below the nationally defined poverty line or those living on less than the purchasing power parity equivalent of $1 per day.

Value chain development methodologies have been used widely in enterprise and market development. Donors such as USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID, GIZ and AusAID have supported this work. For development organisations, value chain development tools have been helpful, but many of the tools have not been specifically designed to support or benefit very poor producers.

The tools and discussions in this Field Guide are applicable when:

  • The most strategic sectors that practitioners will be working in have been selected.
  • Appropriate value chain analysis has been completed.
  • Producer-level constraints have been identified as being critical in terms of strengthening a value chain and/or targeting benefits to very poor households.

This Field Guide is NOT implying that working at producer level or producer group formation are the only solutions to overcoming constraints facing very poor producers’ participation in markets.
The Field Guide recognises that at times there will be greater impact on poverty reduction by intervening elsewhere in the market system. The Field Guide further acknowledges that even when intervening at the producer level, this may not always translate into forming producers into groups.
This Field Guide is applicable for use in the following contexts:

  • Agricultural and non-agricultural contexts (although the focus is predominantly on agricultural production contexts)
  • Development organisation project staff working with mainly rural producers
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