Agriculture dominates the economy of the Sub-Saharan African countries. Main producers of agricultural commodities are smallholders who depend strongly on the sector for incomes, food security and employment. These goods reach consumers via multilevel marketing systems, not directly from production. Thus, the fights to achieve food and nutrition security as well as prosperity for these countries will be won or lost by the way agricultural value chains are coordinated. However, value chains in developing countries face series of impediments in many of the cases smallholder farmers are disadvantaged. In recent years activities and actors to be coordinated along the value chain have increased significantly. These include a change in consumer demands, climate change, water scarcity, stringent market standards, including food safety, production and processing technologies to minimize post-harvest losses, information and communication technologies and new or emerging markets. Such dynamics will lead to a changing business environment and change relationships between actors in the chain. Thus, it is essential to realize the dynamic change, problems, risks and necessary changes combined with it. Lack of comprehensive strategies along the entire value chain affect the potential benefits that smallholder farmers might obtain from it. The strategies could range from improving productivity through increasing access to inputs to increasing access to markets through strengthening value chain relationships and improving an enabling environment. The strategies should also incorporate activities and actors out of the value-chain like universities and research centres to support the poor smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.


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