An introduction to value chains

    | June 9, 2014

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    This week’s story from Zimbabwe talks about contract farming. Contract farming involves a farmer or group of farmers making an agreement with a contractor to provide crops of a certain quality and quantity in exchange for receiving various kinds of production assistance and a guaranteed market.

    Contract farming or outgrower farming is just one of the value chain arrangements covered in FRI’s December 2012 broadcaster information document, An introduction to value chains.

    The info document is designed to help broadcasters understand how value chains work. It defines some key terms, gives some examples of value chains and discusses why it’s important for farmers to think of themselves as part of a value chain. It also lists the potential benefits of value chains and talks about different strategies farmers can follow to improve or “upgrade” their involvement with value chains, in other words to increase the amount of income or other value they can gain from the crops and animals they produce. With a better understanding of how value chains work, broadcasters can better serve their farmer audiences.

    The document is written from the perspective of the small-scale farmer. As a broadcaster, your role is to present information about value chains. Radio can present value chain success stories, encourage discussion on how value chains can benefit farmers, and act as a source of information about local, national and regional value chains.

    Read through the document and let us know if you have any questions about anything you read. You can contact us at: Or, you could raise your question on Barza by leaving a comment in the comments section here: You must be a registered member of Barza to leave a comment. (You can sign up here if you don’t already have an account. It’s simple and free!)