A practical guide for linking small-scale producers and buyers through business model innovation.
German Development Agency (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) issued a contract farming handbook, which provides a practical and process-oriented approach guiding practitioners through sound planning, starting up, consolidation and up-scaling of contract farming (CF) schemes. It gives insights in the selection of an appropriate business model for the farm supply-firm procurement interface based on principles of fairness and transparency. It furthermore provides guiding principles, questions and answers for the development of viable CF business and practicable management plans, mutually beneficial farming contracts and mutually agreed dispute settlement systems.
Till Rockenbauch, who contributed to the handbook, answers the questions of the Platform secretariat.
// Why did GIZ decide to publish this handbook at this stage?
T.R.: Contract farming is high on the agenda amongst partners, private sector, farmers and practitioners. Unfortunately there is very little information and guidance available on how to practically promote economically and socially viable contract farming schemes: That’s why have elaborated a hands-on, step wise handbook that guides practitioners through the whole process from planning, to implementation and up-scaling.
// Is the handbook applicable for contract farming outside of Eastern and Southern Africa?
T.R.: It was important for us to base our work on direct insights from the field. The handbook’s generic nature, however, allows to use it for any product and in any context.
// What can we expect to see in the “materials and tools” volume to be published at the end of 2013?
T.R.: In order to improve the applicability of our handbook, we have decided to set up an additional source book that illustrates the steps and activities proposed by the handbook. It will give an idea of how business plans, management plans and contract could look like, for example.
// Will abridged versions – and possibly in other languages – be available for farmers organization in non-English speaking countries?
T.R.: We are currently working on training materials for a Training of Trainers that will be implemented in autumn this year in Africa. These training material, as well as handbook and ‘material and tools’ will be available in English and French by the end of 2013. Close collaboration with local training institutions will help to transfer it into adapted, case specific curricula serving local needs.