Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Smallholders in Value Chains: Evidence on Scale, Productivity, and Benefits

Mar 27, 2014
institutional sponsor: 
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)


Please watch Elizabeth Dunn, research economist and President of Impact LLC, as she discussed smallholders and inclusive growth in agricultural market systems. Inclusive growth has strong appeal in agriculture, where smallholder-led development strategies can lead to structural transformation that increases productivity, incomes, and food security in rural areas. The evidence on scale indicates that large numbers of smallholders can be integrated into agricultural value chains, but comparison across different types of interventions is hampered by inconsistencies in measuring smallholders reached indirectly through facilitation. Productivity gains depend on smallholder upgrading investments that add value by improving efficiency and/or product quality. The evidence on productivity highlights the importance of market opportunities (“pull” factors) and household capabilities (“push” factors) in influencing smallholders’ willingness to invest in productivity enhancing upgrades. The findings related to farm and household income are mixed, with clear implications for needed improvements in evaluation methods. Read the full FIELD report on Smallholder and Inclusive Growth in Agricultural Value Chains or view the report's Models for Inclusive Growth annex. 

Make sure to watch, read, and download all of the post event resources from this seminar as we discussd the latest thinking in market systems facilitation using empirical evidence from agricultural value chain projects in 10 countries in order to unpack critical issues related to scale, productivity, and impacts.


Headshot: Elizabeth Dunn
Elizabeth Dunn
Impact LLC

Headshot: Elizabeth Dunn Dr.

Headshot: Elizabeth Dunn Elizabeth Dunn is the founder and president of Impact LLC, a social science research firm dedicated to improving the impacts of development interventions for microentrepreneurs, small farmers and low-income households. She has collaborated closely with ACDI/VOCA since the beginning of the AMAP Project, helping to design field research, provide training and conduct evaluations. Her clients include multilateral development agencies, international NGOs, host governments, and corporations. With a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Dunn has more than 20 years of professional research experience in developing countries.