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Clusters for Competitiveness

A Practical Guide & Policy Implications for Developing Cluster Initiatives






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    Food Security and Agricultural Livelihoods Cluster. Plan of Action for Northern Uganda 2009
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    The Northern region, which is identified by official statistics as trailing behind the central, western and eastern regions in terms of poverty reduction, has experienced multiple and severe shocks including drought, civil war lasting for over 10 years and loss of cattle to Karamojong raids. The signing of a peace agreement between the Government of Uganda (GOU) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and initial implementation of terms bears hope for Northern Uganda. It is in this context that t he 2008/09 Cluster Plan of Action (PoA) for Northern Uganda has been developed. The PoA is the result of a three month process of field consultation and analysis on food security and livelihoods with national and international NGOs, UN agencies, government representatives and civil society. In terms of scope of interventions, the PoA aims to create and promote the conditions for addressing root causes of livelihood erosion by linking short term/immediate actions with longer term measures and considerations. Thus the Plan proposes a set of balanced responses that aim to protect, rehabilitate and diversify the livelihoods of pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and farmers in northern Uganda. In that respect, the document is meant to complement long-term development strategies and focuses on the range of emergency, recovery and rehabilitation interventions needed for the whole of the North (Karamoja, Teso, Lango, Acholi and West Nile). Implementation of the PoA will be through partnerships between government, UN agencies, NGOs, civil society and the private sector. The selected option is based on a pro-poor and community self-reliance approach as the most sustainable way to achieve productivity growth and improve use and access of natural capital. In areas with low agricultural potential (Eastern Uganda – Karamoja), livestock systems are the basis of livelihoods. In areas with higher agricultural potential (Northern and Nile provinces), where farmers could pursue high-value li velihood opportunities, use of improved technologies will be supported to raise productivity growth.
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    Agro-based clusters in developing countries: staying competitive in a globalized economy 2010
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    An agro-based cluster is a concentration of producers, agribusinesses and institutions that are engaged in the same agricultural or agro-industrial subsector, and interconnect and build value networks when addressing common challenges and pursuing common opportunities. Cluster approaches recognize that all the actors in the agricultural value chain are often more innovative and successful when they interact with supporting institutions and other actors in the supply chain. By promoting v ertical and horizontal links between local agricultural enterprises, as well as supporting relationships between them and facilitating organizations (e.g. local governments, research institutes and universities), cluster policies promote the diffusion of innovation, as well as the use and generation of important local externalities. Agro-based clusters can also enhance access to markets and information. Cluster policies are argued to be crucial for small-scale farmers and agribusiness, a s they enable them to engage in higher productivity, and more market-oriented and higher value-added production. Accordingly, central and local governments have discovered that cluster promotion is a valuable tool to support agricultural enterprises in their territory and help them link to global agricultural value chains in a more efficient and sustainable manner. The present paper presents existing literature and methodologies on agro-based cluster development, and provides insights into cluster promotion in Latin America, Asia and Africa. It offers as well a series of best practices recommendations to ensure that governments and other facilitating institutions provide effective support to agricultural clusters in the developing world.
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    National Competitiveness Index of the Forest Products Industry in the Asia-Pacific Region 2009
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    In the era of globalization, competitiveness has become a crucial driver of international trade flows, the location of production and the inflow and outflow of capital. This thematic study analyses factors influencing the competitiveness of production of wood and wood products; assesses likely changes in the competitiveness of wood production and processing in various countries during the next ten years; and indicates measures that can be taken to improve competitiveness of wood and wood product s.

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