Growing Business with Smallholders: A Guide to Inclusive Agribusiness

Christina Gradl, Christina Kükenshöner, Juliane Schmidt, Christiane Ströh de Martínez
Publication date
November 2012
Managing Corporate Responsibility
Free/Pay for content

The guide targets companies that are looking to enter or expand activities with smallholders in developing markets. It is designed for companies selling agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers and/or sourcing from them. Potential partner organizations, such as agriculture-related NGOs, insurance providers, finance institutions, and international organizations will also find valuable insights. The hands-on practitioner guide documents existing experiences from inclusive agribusinesses, and summarizes key lessons and best practices.

Growing an inclusive agribusiness is a process much like cultivating crops. The Guide for All Seasons helps practitioners create and expand inclusive business models along the following steps:

  • Discover! Identify your inclusive agribusiness opportunity learning about case studies along the whole value chain from selling to sourcing.
  • Assess! Understand the specific challenges of working with smallholders – a critical prerequisite to design effective business solutions.
  • Plant! Consider five core solutions to meet challenges and enable your business to grow.
  • Nurture! Learn about opportunities to collaborate effectively with smallholders, with other partner organizations, and on the level of the business environment. 
  • Harvest! Develop a plan on how to ensure mutual benefit for all business partners and assess results.

Following these steps, the business can grow from season to season!

The Guide to Inclusive Agribusiness is based on valuable insights from:

  • Over 40 case studies
  • 40 expert interviews
  • Extensive desktop research