IFDC works across the developing world to increase the efficiency of food production along the agricultural value chain – from the seeds that farmers plant to the marketing of their harvest. The input value chain encompasses the steps and actors leading up to harvest. These might include agro-dealers, who sell farmers effective fertilizers, seeds and crop protection products and provide information on their use, to producer organizations that help farmers learn more effective farming techniques. The output value chain encompasses all the steps that an agricultural product takes, from its point of origin to the consumer. Agricultural value chain development is about linking farmers to people who can help them grow, process, package, market and eventually buy the food they produce.
Strengthening each of the processes and stakeholders involved in agribusiness, IFDC helps facilitate coordination at the grassroots level among small farmers, local entrepreneurs, traders, bankers, research and extension services and market information systems. Activities include strengthening the production, supply and marketing of agro-inputs and the production, post-harvest processing and marketing of farm products.
Helping smallholder farmers set up commodity-based value chains not only empowers the farmers to shift from subsistence farming to an entrepreneurial business; it gives them the tools they need to take ownership of the process and build sustainable markets.
Sorting seeds for quality at an agricultural cooperative in Nampula, Mozambique