Agriculture for Children’s Empowerment (ACE) Value Chain Network Analysis
In September and October of 2013, the Liberia Agriculture for Children’s Empowerment (ACE) project implemented by ACDI/VOCA in Liberia, a USAID/DCOF funded project, conducted a network analysis study to identify relational changes between farmers and other value chain actors within the traditional and high-value vegetable value chains brought about by ACE interventions. Using data generated from focus groups with farmers, the project developed a data set of the relationships held between farmers and various value chain actors before the project began, after the project ended, and projections into the future. The analysis assessed the number, strength, and diversity of new linkages, primarily from the smallholder farmer to buyers, input dealers, and technical/financial extension service providers. Findings from the analysis revealed the ACE project was successful in strengthening and expanding farmers’ networks. The findings point to important differences in value chain development programming in regards to value chain linkage development in weak, underdeveloped value chains versus strong, more mature value chains.