Agricultural and rural economic development
Agriculture is recognised as one of the driving forces for pro-poor rural economic development by the majority of development specialists. An again increasing number of programmes and projects aim at improving the livelihoods of the rural poor through interventions that enhance productivity and profitability of small-scale farming. In contrast to earlier efforts which concentrated on production, nowadays emphasis is given to market access and linkages to value chains. Also, attention is given to the agriculture-related non-farm employment opportunities.
We can provide support in developing concepts and approaches for effective interventions that help to meet the challenge of enabling people to sucessfully cope with the profound changes underway in rural economies and agricultural markets all around the world.
- Rural value chain development
Small farmers increasingly need to be very competitive in order to earn a reasonable income from their farms. Efforts to link them to markets and value chains have thus gained importance in recent years.
AGRIDEA has been managing an on-going internet discussion on "value chains for rural development" (for SDC's Employment and Income Division). Further we provide advice and support on rural value chain development to programmes and projects in the form of consultancy services and training, and engage in exchange with other people dealing with value chain issues.
- Skill development in rural areas (SDRA)
We have been facilitating an online Community of Practice on "skill development in rural areas" on behalf of SDC's Employment and Income Division. Materials and insights from the debate are available here.
We also provide conceptual assistance to skill development efforts to overcome the challenges of rural areas such as modular curricula, delivery by mobile units, focus on practical skills for economic success, community involvement, combining training and coaching etc.
- Public-private partnerships (PPPs) for rural economic development
Public-private partnerships, i.e. contractual collaboration between private enterprises and public institutions to promote some pro-poor economic goals, are becoming an important strategy for rural economic development. Often such PPPs involve rather large agribusiness actors, although PPPs are also a useful tool to assist smaller enterprises to engage in business with pro-poor impact. We are for example involved in coaching Sunlabob, a company that deals with solar equipment in Laos, in a PPP arrangement with GTZ. This partnership enables Sunlabob to build the capacity that is necessary to establish a distribution and service network for its equipment in rural areas, and to explore models that make solar equipment available to the poor e.g. through leasing.