Value chain development (VCD) with smallholders forms a central element of the poverty reduction strategies of governments and NGOs in developing countries. Nevertheless, too little is known about how VCD interventions are designed and implemented, the approaches and tools used, and the challenges faced in the process. This paper helps to fill this gap with evidence from six cases in Uganda. For each case, data was collected from interviews with NGOs, government organizations, buyers, and smallholder business organizations. Results indicate that use of available VCD guides and tools facilitated productive partnerships among chain actors, engagement with support organizations, and feedback mechanisms on intervention processes. Results also challenge NGOs, government agencies, and researchers to better understand the circumstances of resource-poor chain actors, the implications of VCD on gender relations, and the cultural and business context when designing and implementing VCD. This calls for stakeholders to employ a broader approach to VCD, using a combination of available and new tools, and to seek out deeper collaboration with key actors within and outside the value chain.
Over recent decades, international trade in meat products has increased enormously. Developing countries have had a leading role in the recent dynamics of the meat sector and have witnessed the strongest growth in consumption, production, and international trade. International trade in food products is governed by a growing array of public and private food standards. In recent decades, private voluntary standards developed in Western countries have become a key element of governance in meat food chains. The proliferation and influence of these private standards may represent both an opportunity and a threat for livestock producers and, in the coming years, might have increasingly important developmental implications for poorer countries, including those in sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this work is to shed light on the current practice in the application of these standards and to examine the present and future implications for developing countries, especially in Africa.