The innovation and its context

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Each case study will identify good practice and derive policy lessons for public and private sector actors in supporting greater participation by small-scale farmers in dynamic markets. The comparative analysis will compare these policy lessons to assess their potential for replication and scaling-up. To facilitate this comparative analysis, the case studies will have to comprise a variety of situations. Three dimensions of variety are central:

1. The stage of market restructuring – i.e. the degree to which modern forms of processors and/or retailers dominate the overall agri-food system. This dimension of variety is important because the approach of the Regoverning Markets is essentially anticipatory, transferring lessons from areas or countries where change is advanced to those where changes are just starting, when appropriate.

2. The stage of development of the supply chain:(a) centralization of procurement, (b) specialized, dedicated wholesalers, (c) private grades and standards, and (d) preferred suppliers. This dimension of variety is important because from Phase 1 of the Regoverning Markets programme we know that supply chains evolve very rapidly. The key challenge for small-scale producers and rural SMEs is not to access restructured markets but rather to keep pace with the rapid, almost violent changes in the conditions of participation, and thus to respond to the changing incentives they face.,which is determined by their skills and capacities.

3. The form of chain integration: mere participation as individual suppliers of raw material, collective action with other suppliers to meet basic demands for volume and consistency of supply, specialized supplier on the basis of value-adding activities, co-owner of a supply chain or one of its segments. This dimension of variety is important because each form of chain integration implies different types of arrangements that require specific public and private policies, intervention strategies, working methodologies and development of skills.

4. Cases that highlight the role of different drivers for inclusion (related to public policies, collective action, business models, development agencies interventions or a combination of these)

  • Sufficient preliminary information must be available about a potential case study to be able to classify it ex ante according to these three dimensions, thus ensuring that the 30 case studies of Component 2 actually cover the range of variation defined above.
  • All case studies should focus on experiences whose context and resources are not exceptional. They must be feasible to be replicated or to guide practice elsewhere.
  • All case studies must focus on experiences that have been in operation long enough so as to allow for the drawing of lessons and conclusions.

Annex 1 presents the format for submission of case study proposals to be implemented under Component 2 of the Regoverning Markets Programme.