The transition from pure subsistence farming to a commercial enterprise includes access to value chains in a structured market. We start by making sure that inputs and know-how are available and affordable. Our role as an NGO is to be a facilitator that in alliance with commercial actors provides market access and builds a pro-poor value chain.

Our overarching goal is to lift people out of poverty. By enabling small-scale producers to become profitable, we unlock their ability to enter a growth path that matches their region’s growing need for nutritious food.

Even though over 80% of the population in many poor countries consists of farmers, these nations have substantial food imports. Needs are growing due to population growth, but the agricultural value chains fail to release the potential of small-scale producers.

Agricultural inputs that have the potential of dramatically improving productivity don’t reach the small farmers in affordable quantities, neither does their produce reach urban and international buyers with purchasing power that could fuel development.

We can no longer see this as a missed opportunity, but take action and aim high. To address the gaps and barriers that exclude the small farmers from well-functioning value chains we take a staged approach, starting with improving the business model of the smallholder.

Pro-poor value chains will not evolve by market forces alone. Therefore NCA’s catalytic approach involves academic institutions, commercial parters, governmental agriculture extension officers, and lead farmers that already have a trusted position in their local communities.

As the farmers that are trapped in poverty enter a sustainable growth path, they will qualify for the structured market and become drivers for rural econmic development.

Our staged approach to value chain development has three phases: Productivity and reinvestments for growth, local diversification and specialisation, aggregation and market linkage.

As each group of farmers progresses, the NGO-led support will be reconfigured to make sure that their growth path is self-sustainable. From the start the NGO will work with ‘exit partners’ that can be part of a long-term and market-based economic development.

A minimalist approach to release smallholders into profitable growth: The NGO intervention enters the value chain temporarily by introducing climate-smart kits of equipment, inputs, and know-how. A hand over to commercial partners and other permanent stakeholders is sought as soon as possible.