Linking smallholder farmers to high quality food chains: appraising institutional arrangements

A. Royer, J. Bijman, V. Bitzer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Although markets for high quality products might represent an interesting outlet for smallholder farmers from developing countries, access to those markets is challenging, as appropriate institutions helping farmers to comply with quality requirements are often missing. To overcome the institutional constraints and to link smallholders to markets, three types of institutional arrangements are often proposed: contract farming, producer organisations and partnerships. While many publications have explored the merits of each of these arrangements, a systematic comparison and evaluation of all three has not been done, particularly from the perspective of the constraints that smallholders face when seeking to improve product quality. In this chapter, we seek to make such evaluatory comparison. To do so, we first identify the most limiting institutional constraints faced by smallholder farmers related to quality improvement. Second, we provide an overview of each arrangement’s ability to address these constraints. Third, we determine how combinations of the three arrangements can be used effectively in quality improvement in smallholder value chains.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuality and innovation in food chains
Subtitle of host publicationLessons and insights from Africa
EditorsJos Bijman, Verena Bitzer
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)9789086868254
ISBN (Print)9789086862801
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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