Agriculture and Food Security

Strengthening Value Chains


The value of agricultural products — crops and livestock — increases with every step from field to markets, through storage, processing and packaging. Abt Associates’ value chain development approach allows clients to increase productivity and competitiveness in target markets, raising incomes in the near term and contributing to long-term economic growth and food security. 
Our technical assistance includes developing new technologies, building organizational capacity, training in global standards, connecting entrepreneurs to markets, and expanding access to finance. We work closely with key stakeholders — farmer and trade associations, chambers of commerce, and industry interest groups — to push for continued improvements. 


WEST AFRICA: How can new markets drive value chain improvements?


In West Africa, the Abt-managed Trade and Investment Hub works closely with farmers and firms to bolster value chains in select regionally and globally traded products. These include mangoes — which represent huge potential for West Africa to export to Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the U.S — and livestock, which enjoys enormous demand around the region. In 2015, the Hub collaborated with seven local mango farming organizations to rehabilitate the Akorley Pack House, a collecting and packing facility in Ghana that had fallen into disrepair. Once operational, Akorley enabled surrounding farmers to sell high-quality mangoes to processors in Ghana, while others exported to Belgium and Lebanon. The Hub also trained more than 700 farmers and processors in 22 different locations in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Senegal on best practices for producing, harvesting, and storing mangoes — generating more than $7 million in sales. In livestock, the Hub helped Malian, Senegalese, and Ivorian livestock federations capitalize on seasonal demand by facilitating transport and sales of Malian cattle and sheep to new coastal markets in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal before the Muslim festival of Tabaski. The Hub planned these new markets with municipal officials and federation members, including holding pens, water, police surveillance, and lighting for better security after dark — and, with Trade Hub guidance, organized tracking and reporting sales. “Operation Tabaski 2015” ultimately led to $19 million in sales in Senegal and $24 million in Côte d’Ivoire. 
CLIENT: USAID / PROJECT: West Africa Trade and Investment Hub

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