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Trading up : building cooperation between farmers and traders in Africa

Document type: book
Download file(s): 114598 (4909 KB)
Abstract: This publication looks at the role that traders occupy in the value chain of agricultural products in sub-Saharan Africa. Traditionally, the idea was to get rid of the traders. Often farmers think negatively of traders, accusing them of exploitation. By contrast, traders fulfill a vital role in the value chain. In fact, with the appropriate trading partners, farmers are better off, not worse. Unknown to most producers, traders operate in a climate of great uncertainty and encounter all sorts of risk. Traders search for commodities to buy, visit sellers, and negotiate deals individually. This is time-consuming. And because they are searching for products to sell, far away from markets, they too do not know how much they should pay for a certain product, let alone how much it will fetch when sold in the market later. Most private traders have little working capital; they often rely mainly on their own funds, advances from wholesalers, acceptance by farmers of deferred payments and, at times of peak financing requirements, moneylenders. Poor transport infrastructure means long, arduous trips that can jeopardize the quality of agricultural produce and livestock, and can translate to heavy losses for the trader. Indeed, traders are not the villains that producers so often paint them as. The case studies presented here start off by recognizing the specialized role of all actors in the chain. Whether it is transporting livestock in Kenya, selling yams at Kumasi Central Market in Ghana, exporting Tanzanian coffee to European markets, or exporting tomatoes from Burkina Faso to Ghana, the case studies describe the actors in the chain, the challenges they face, the actions taken to deal with them, and the changes this has brought to the market structure.
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Corporate author(s): Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) , International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR)
Country: Burkina Faso , Ethiopia , Ghana , Kenya , Lesotho , Zimbabwe
Category: Practice
ISBN: 978-90-6832-699-4
Keywords: agriculture , trade , enterprises
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
PAGE: xviii, 280
Place: Amsterdam [etc.]
Publisher: Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) and International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR)
Year: 2008
Region: Africa , Africa South of Sahara
Right: © 2008 KIT and IIRR
Subject: Agriculture and Rural Development
Title: Trading up : building cooperation between farmers and traders in Africa