Flagship 3: Inclusive and Efficient Value Chains



PIM’s Flagship 3 addresses the evolving international, regional, and local contexts for agricultural markets, and investigates how value chains can be strengthened to generate more profits for smallholders and small entrepreneurs, both men and women. This area of the PIM portfolio focuses on the “middle” of complex agri-food systems – the link between farmers and consumers. The research at the micro level is focused on reducing common inefficiencies across different value chains and understanding models to improve their quality to increase smallholder incomes. For example, researchers are studying the size of post-harvest physical and economic losses, and testing interventions to overcome them. A broad body of research projects is investigating interventions (e.g. quality certification) to enhance product quality throughout the value chain. To overcome constraints related to risk, a body of work is dedicated to developing insurance products that work for small farmers, including picture-based insurance and bundling insurance with other financial or advisory services. From the macro perspective, researchers are analyzing the effects of alternative trade, fiscal, and agricultural policies to support policy decisions at national and regional level. Businesses, NGOs, and governments are key partners in designing and piloting interventions to make value chains more efficient and inclusive.

PIM’s Flagship 3 contributes to enhanced collaboration across CGIAR through the Tools4ValueChains website – a comprehensive repository of tools, research methods, and best practices in value chain research – and the emerging CGIAR Value Chains community of practice. In addition, the team takes part in major global initiatives: the Ag-Incentives Consortium and its Ag-Incentives website, an interactive platform facilitated by IFPRI which aggregates agricultural policy data for guiding more informed policy; and the Technical Platform on Food Loss and Waste hosted by FAO.

The geographical focus of the portfolio is on Eastern and Southern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda), Western Africa (Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal), and Latin America (the Andean countries, Honduras, Nicaragua), with projects in Vietnam and Indonesia.

Research questions

  • How do changes in trade policies or institutions affect poor producers and consumers, which nodes of the value chain do they affect, and are men and women affected differently?
  • How large are postharvest losses, and where do they affect specific value chains?
  • Where do bottlenecks impede value chains, who is most affected, and what interventions can overcome these bottlenecks?
  • Can innovative insurance products combine demand from smallholders and attractiveness for private insurance companies?
  • Which models and mechanisms work best to promote scaling up of interventions to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of value chains?

Flagship 3 Impact Pathways>>

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Research Clusters

Cluster 3.1: The Policy Environment for Value Chains
Cluster 3.2: Interventions to Strengthen Value Chains
Cluster 3.3: Value Chains Research: Outreach and Scaling

Leadership Team

Erwin Bulte (Wageningen University)
Flagship 3 co-leader
Nicholas Minot (IFPRI)
Flagship 3 co-leader
David Laborde (IFPRI)
Cluster 3.1 leader
Jason Donovan (CIMMYT)
Cluster 3.2 co-leader
Alan de Brauw (IFPRI)
Cluster 3.2 co-leader and Cluster 3.3 leader

Flagship Insights




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Banner photo: Georgina Smith/CIAT