Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Agriculturist: Book reviews - Agricultural value chain finance: Tools and lessons

By Calvin Miller and Linda Jones 
Published by FAO and Practical Action 
2010, 192pp, ISBN 978 1 85339 702 8 (Pb), £19.95
In Kenya, smallholders growing fruit and vegetables for export can access funds to buy agro-chemicals on the strength of their supply contract. Meanwhile, in Tanzania, maize farmers depositing grain in a certified warehouse can obtain loans, enabling them to purchase farm inputs at the right time, without having to sell their crop when prices are low. Arrangements of these kinds, to provide finance within agricultural value chains, are becoming increasingly common. And for smallholders in the developing world, they are also essential, in the context of a global food supply that is increasingly dominated by large-scale agribusinesses.
This excellent and appropriately practical book, from Practical Action, offers a global review of the approaches, tools and technologies used to provide finance and finance-related support in developing world agriculture. Not all the approaches are new, but the lessons and recommendations drawn from the numerous case studies have much to offer. Introducing and adapting these models will be critical over the coming decade, if the potential of agriculture as a tool for development is to be realised. For those involved in agribusiness, farming cooperatives, microfinance, as well as research and policy making, acquiring a copy of Agricultural value chain finance will prove very worthwhile.

New Agriculturist: Book reviews - Agricultural value chain finance: Tools and lessons

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