Agriculture has always been stressful for farmers due to low returns and issues and constraints often out of reach of the common farmer.
‘Linking primary producers with mainstream markets’ or ‘making markets work for the poor and marginalized’ are solutions often prescribed for low returns to primary producers including farmers. However, to bell this cat, it is important to understand the ‘value chain’ of each product and how the associated markets operate. Value chains generally encompass the full range of activities and services required to bring a product or service from its conception to sale in its final markets whether local, national, regional or global and include input suppliers, producers, processors and buyers supported by a range of technical, business and financial service providers.
Agriculture value chains are undergoing a paradigm shift. With government’s priorities being to double the farmers’ income, farmer producer organizations are also being promoted to institutionalize small holder farming. Furthermore, the context of sustainable farming has become very relevant with issues like climate change and loss of biodiversity affecting agriculture in a big way.
The Ecociate Approach to Value Chain Analysis:
Ecociate’s approach to Value Chain Analysis have evolved to incorporate additional tenets of sustainability like effects of climate change and climate resilience, social inclusions and biodiversity conservation.
Ecociate’s formulation of value chain development strategies are often based on local resources, skills available with producers or value chain player, resource/raw material availability, infrastructure availability, technology, market structure, price trends, terms of trade, support services available from government departments and private agencies, availability of finance, markets, and enabling environment in terms of policy and regulations at each level in addition to critical aspects of sustainability including effects of climate change, resilience capacities and sustainability trends.
Ecociate and its team members have extensive experience in conducting such value chain analyses of products and services across multiple sectors of Agriculture, Horticulture, Forest Produce, Livestock, Non-farm including handloom and handicrafts etc. Unlike typical research agencies, many value chain development strategies thus formulated have been implemented by Ecociate team members themselves and as a result our approach brings to the table deep rooted insights and learnings from the actual implementors’ perspective; a strength unique to Ecociate.
Value Chain Analysis outputs;
The value chain analysis leads to critical strategy formulations for;
- Identifying bottlenecks, issues and challenges for various players at each level.
- Establishing inclusive supply chains connecting producers and consumers with minimal intermediaries.
- Infrastructure, technology and skill development plans for a range of stakeholders at different levels for enhancing efficiency of value chains in terms of energy use, climate resilience and other sustainability factors.
- Designing, development and rollout planning of new products and services
- Cluster development for aggregation, value addition and marketing of products and services.
- Designing new projects / programs and preparation of project implementation plans addressing issues like farmer income enhancement, Agribusiness development, Market based Livelihoods promotion, sustainable supply chain establishment, FPO promotion and facilitation, Handloom and Handicrafts cluster development and many more.
Ecociate’s service offering under Value chain Analysis thus caters to a wide spectrum of clients like,
- Government departments, Product development boards, Bilateral projects and Donor agencies addressing farmer/women/youth/artisan welfare.
- Farmer Producer Organizations and their promoters preparing proper business plans
- NGOs and Donor agencies developing new project and program with market driven approaches and cluster development initiatives.
- Social Enterprises developing new products and services addressing social issues
- Organizations promoting Inclusive and Sustainable supply chains for regular industries
- Corporate houses establishing responsible sourcing channels, reducing intermediaries from their supply chains, incorporating traceability of their raw materials, etc.
Team member of Ecociate has experience of conducting value chain analyses of a range of products in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
- Ecociate conducted detailed value chain analysis of cashew and coffee in the context of FPOs promoted around these crops in Andhra Pradesh.
- Ecociate team have recently conducted detailed value chain studies for 16 agriculture and Non timber forest produces (NTFP) in Uttarakhand for a Government department under a bilateral project to propose possible intervention clusters across the state.
- Value Chain Analysis of Vegetables by Ecociate in Odisha saw the formulation of the entire business strategy for the FPO. Similar value chain studies conducted for low residue /organic vegetables in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh helped formulate retail marketing plans for respective FPOs.
- Specialized value chain analysis of fish in Madhya Pradesh was conducted by Ecociate to derive climate resilient business modelling and planning for a recipient of UN Adaption fund for Climate Change.
- Ecociate team members recently conducted a detailed value chain analysis of fresh fish in for a government project in Jharkhand which also spanned across the states of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal and went on to calculate the projected demand and supply of the entire state of Jharkhand along with critical insights.