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Farmers and businesses (both upstream and downstream) all have a role to play in transforming food systems. They help structure value chains and develop sectors, each at their own level and according to their own area of expertise, size, influence and resources. They are drivers of development in their respective local areas, countries and regions.
How do they team up with one another? What are the challenges and opportunities for farmers’ organisations and their members when it comes to partnering with businesses? And conversely, what challenges do agrifood companies face? What are the best support mechanisms for promoting family farms and sustainability?
This jointly produced issue of Grain de Sel features shared experiences and real examples of partnerships. They illustrate issues such as trust-building, the importance of strengthening FOs, and the challenges posed by power asymmetry in negotiations between actors.
Farmers and businesses (both upstream and downstream) all have a role to play in transforming food systems. They help structure value chains and develop sectors, each at their own level and according to their own area of expertise, size, influence and resources. They are drivers of development in their respective local areas, countries and regions. How do they team up with one another? What are the challenges and opportunities for farmers’ organisations and their members when it comes…
Lead-In : What impact do partnerships between farmers and businesses have on the sustainability of food systems?
Food systems in Sub-Saharan Africa are highly diversified at all levels, from production and processing, to distribution. Despite an increase in imports for certain products, those systems satisfy the lion’s share of internal demand and are one of the largest sources of jobs and income for a major part of the population. What are the specific features of these food systems? Under what conditions can they help achieve more equitable and sustainable development?
The term “food system” is a convenient way of referring to all the actors and processes directly or indirectly related to feeding people – which could potentially include all of society! While the term is useful in that it reminds us of what these systems are trying to achieve, it must not lead us to believe that their driving forces are internal.
According to the FAO (2021), the definition of “private sector” includes a broad array of people engaged in agriculture, fishing and livestock farming, as well as their organisations, cooperatives, businesses (from micro-enterprises to multinationals) and philanthropic foundations. Professional and interprofessional associations are also sometimes considered as belonging to the private sector, as are certain NGOs serving as investors. This all-embracing term has been the source of much debate. Some people say farmers should be recognised as full-fledged economic…
The companies operating within food systems come in a variety of forms and sizes, and specialise in a number of different areas. They operate within different sectors and seek to address local needs. Here are a few examples. More profiles are available online (in French): https://bit.ly/3z7FJhP
During a webinar organised by Inter-réseaux on 10 September 2021, three dairies talked about their experiences partnering with dairy farmers: the Banfora mini-dairy in Burkina Faso; the industrial dairy TIVISKI in Mauritania; and the Senegalese group Kirène, which is a franchise of the French cooperative Sodiaal. While they all face common challenges and share common values, each dairy has set up unique solutions that are specifically tailored to their environment. Here are three complementary initiatives that have sparked…
Against a backdrop of social and economic inequality and environmental imbalances exacerbated by globalised trade, fair trade has positioned itself as a particularly well-developed model for contract farming. What are the requirements for certification and what dynamics does it create?
Many companies in the Sahel are marketing locally produced infant flours in order to make food supplements for young children accessible. These flours are produced by small and mid-size companies, or very small facilities managed by women’s groups. They face a number of challenges when it comes to traceability, quality and procuring raw materials. One potential solution is to strengthen partnerships with farmers’ organisations.
The Laiterie du Berger dairy in Senegal sources its milk from 1,200 farmers and has developed digital solutions for greater efficiency in collecting milk and paying farmers. What challenges come with the wider use of these tools? What synergies do they help generate? How do they contribute to local development and help coordinate the different actors in the value chain?
Nafaso is a Burkinabe company that produces and markets seeds, and is experiencing strong growth throughout the region. Mr Abdoulaye Sawadogo, founder and managing director, spoke to us about the history of his company, how it is organised, and how it partners with and supports the small farmers in its network.
Les Potagers du Bandama is a social enterprise founded by an NGO called the European Institute for Cooperation and Development (Institut Européen de Coopération et de Développement, or “IECD”). The enterprise sells the production of its network of market gardeners through direct sales, and through large and mid-size distributors. Quentin de Villechabrolle discusses the history of the project and the challenges faced.
Cameroon’s poultry sector owes its survival to the country’s ban on imported poultry cuts, decided by public authorities in 2005. But a resurgence of bird-flu outbreaks since 2016 has weakened and disorganised the sector, which is still dependent on imported chicks and hatching eggs.
It appears to be widely accepted that the private sector has made positive contributions to agricultural development. But Alhousseini Diabaté and Ibrahim Diori, lecturer/researcher and human-rights activist, respectively, denounce the consequences of the predatory neoliberal framework imposed by international and regional regulatory frameworks.
The work performed by Acting For Life and its partners in West Africa to develop the agropastoral sector at local level involves the structuring of a public-private partnership between local authorities and civil-society organisations (CSO). The mechanism is funded in part through an increase in tax revenue on agropastoral market infrastructure, with the CSO overseeing coordination and monitoring activities.
Gaining access to funding is a major challenge that small and mid-size enterprises (SME) face, especially in rural areas. The Agro-Industry Fund (Fonds Agro-Industrie, or “FAI”) was created in Burkina Faso in 2013 under the Programme for Economic Growth in the Agricultural Sector (PCESA) and seeks to address those challenges and stimulate agricultural value chains by facilitating access to funding for economic operators. An in-depth look at a solution with an original operational approach.
Sub-Saharan Africa is a long-standing and fast-growing market for large Western brewing companies to develop their business. Provision of local raw materials is key to the future of the sector and its impact on farmers. What are the implications? What are the challenges? We take a closer look.
Partnerships between farmers and brewing companies create challenges, risks and opportunities for both parties, from competition with food crops and impact on food security and sustainability, to empowering farmers and developing local value chains and models of governance. An example from Kenya.
What connections, rivalries or synergies unite farmers, farmers’ organisations and formal companies within food systems? What types of support already exist or should exist in West Africa in order to promote synergies in partnerships between these different actors?
We worked closely with our members to produce this issue of the magazine. Some of those members have direct experience in areas such as food systems and partnerships between farmers and businesses. For instance, AVSF (pp. 16-17), Fert (p. 35), Gret (pp. 18-19) and Saild (pp. 26-27) all made contributions to different articles in this issue.
Issue no. 81 of Grain de Sel is part of the thematic cycle on the “private sector”, coordinated by Inter-réseaux since 2017. The team effort that went into producing this issue of the magazine made it possible to showcase work and ideas that have been developed over the long term, and to mobilise a diverse range of actors involved in the thematic cycle on the “private sector”.