Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dealing with small scale producers - Linking buyers and producers

Dealing with small scale producers - Linking buyers and producers

Dealing with small scale producers
By Ellen Mangnus and Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters 
Published by the Royal Tropical Institute 
2010, 80pp, ISBN 978 9 46022 126 2 (Pb), €25 or free to download
Poor infrastructure, and lack of up-to-date market information, technical advisory services, agricultural inputs and post-harvest facilities make it difficult for smallscale farmers to deliver a consistent supply of high quality produce to the market. Dealing with small scale producers states that producer organisations should overcome the obstacles that inhibit cooperation between private sector businesses, but in many cases, this does not occur. "There is great diversity in producer organisations and also in their capacities," the authors write, "consequently, there is confusion about which form or organisation is appropriate for a particular business aim."
Dealing with small scale producers attempts to remove this confusion by outlining the successes and limitations of different models of producer organisations, in order that the reader will be able to select which approach is most useful. A number of experts also present their personal insights on a range of subjects, including how producer organisations help smallscale farmers in reaching supermarkets and entrepreneurship in producer organisation.
"The private sector is struggling to establish business collaborations with smallholders in Africa. There are growing opportunities for African agriculture to market its produce," state the authors, "but African agriculture cannot seize this opportunity as it is still dominated by smallholders, which imposes constraints in terms of trade volume and product quality." The authors conclude: "In order to benefit from the opportunities of consumer demand, African smallholders need to become better organised."

Author Ellen Mangnus of the Royal Tropical Institute talks about her book "Dealing with small scale producers, linking buyers and producers' of KIT Publishers.

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