Buyers and sellers need each other, yet their relationship is not always a smooth one. Small-scale producers in particular face disadvantages that can make it difficult for them to respond to the needs of markets. They often lack infrastructure, market information, inputs and financial services, all factors that can make it hard for them to guarantee a regular supply of top quality produce. Private sector actors have different requirements. They need the certainty of having business partners who can deliver the agreed volume of produce at a good price, on schedule and in compliance with quality standards.

Producer organisations can do much to bridge the gap between the two parties, acting as intermediaries in value chains, supporting African smallholders to access markets and buyers to access smallholders. The benefits to both parties are clear. Farmers have the advantage of better market access, increased economies of scale for inputs and transport and greater bargaining power. From the buyers’ perspective, a producer organisation fulfills the valuable role of providing them with a single contact, taking on key responsibilities such as grading, processing and transporting. This book reviews several models for organising producers, and assesses some of their strengths and limitations.

Dealing with Small Scale Producers Linking buyers and producers
By E Mangnus
& B de Steenhuijsen Piters
KIT, 2010. 80 pp.
ISBN 978-94-6022-126-2
Downloadable free as PDF file from:
KIT Publishers
PO Box 95001
1090 HA Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Top of page