Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains

Brokering Development: Enabling Factors for Public-Private-Producer Partnerships in Agricultural Value Chains
Thorpe, J. and Maestre, M.
IDS-IFAD Report
Publisher IDS and IFAD, June 2015, 56 pages
Download this publication (3.7MB)


Markets are central to agriculture and rural development. Making markets, value chains and the systems that support them work better for the poor has therefore become a central aim of many donors, governments and nongovernmental organisations.

1 July 2015. IFAD. This research seeks to understand how public-private-producer partnerships (PPPPs) in agricultural value chains can be designed and implemented to achieve more sustained increases in income for smallholder farmers and broader rural development. PPPPs involve cooperation between government and business agents, working together to reach a common goal or carry out a specific task, while jointly assuming risks and responsibilities, and sharing resources and competences. They also explicitly involve farmers (or producers), hence the fourth ‘P’ is added to the more familiar designation of ‘public-private partnerships’.

The research also considers the role of PPPP brokers as independent facilitators who support the process of exploring, designing and implementing PPPPs. The research is based on four case studies of agricultural value chain PPPPs developed through projects financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Ghana, Indonesia, Rwanda and Uganda. In each country, local research teams collected data through a mixture of semi-structured interviews, field visits and focus group discussions (FGDs) with local market chain actors, smallholder farmers and other community members, and relevant experts. These were not impact assessments, and represent instead a snapshot in time. However, the aim was to gain insights into the outcomes of the PPPPs so far, and how these have been influenced by the way the PPPP was designed, implemented and brokered.

Read the four country case studies below:
Ghana case study
Indonesia case study
Rwanda case study
Uganda case study

Extract: the Role of brokers (page 8)
Drawing on the enabling factors and the roles of brokers identified through the case studies, the findings also identify key roles that brokers can fulfil, supporting different steps of the PPPP process. They can:
  • facilitate contact between potential partners, helping them explore the potential benefits of partnership, identify common objectives and build trust and understanding;
  • ask the right questions early on, identify and justify assumptions and ensure effective feasibility studies;
  • provide or procure technical expertise as needed;
  • involve farmers directly as partners in the PPPP, building farmer capacity to organise effectively, access information and negotiate a fair deal;
  • help ensure transparency and dialogue within the PPPP, and between the PPPP and external
  • stakeholders;
  • support monitoring processes, facilitate dialogue around conflicts or differences, and encourage partners to develop and own joint solutions;
  • ensure actors have long-term capacity, financing and incentives to play new roles.
Brokers also need to develop a clear exit strategy from the outset. Otherwise the risk is that brokers become part of how PPPP implementation works, creating dependence, particularly on the part of the less powerful partners.

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