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The role of small and medium agrifood enterprises in rural transformation – The case of rice processors in Kenya











Ilie, E.T., Hickey, A. and Kelly, S. 2022. The role of small and medium agrifood enterprises in rural transformation  The case of rice processors in Kenya. FAO Agricultural Development Economics Technical Study No. 17. Rome, FAO.




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    The role of small and medium agrifood enterprises in food systems transformation - The case of rice processors in Senegal 2021
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    The objective of this publication is multifold. First, it aims to learn from small and medium sized agrifood manufacturers about the role they play in food systems transformation in Senegal and the policy reforms required to harness their potential. Second, and more specifically, it gleans lessons from structured interviews with Senegalese rice millers, based on their day-to-day realities, highlighting the business creativity used by these firms in order to deal with difficult enabling environments. Third, the methodology adopts a food systems approach to analyze the target enterprises; cross fertilizing different disciplinary perspectives in order to develop evidence for the public sector on integrated policy making that better supports the role of small agrifood enterprises in sustainable transformation. Finally, the study shares ideas about innovations related to procurement, operations, logistics, finance, marketing and sales, human resources, and strategic partnerships. An important contribution of this work is to demonstrate the multidimensional and complex nature of the environment within which agrifood manufacturers do business, and the need for the public sector to harness their potential to reduce poverty through off-farm employment generation and to improve food security through the sustainable supply of affordable and nutritious food to domestic and export markets.
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    Policies and institutions shaping the business enabling environment of agrifood processors in Senegal
    An analytical review of the literature for integrated policy making
    2022
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    Small and medium agrifood enterprises (SMAEs) such as processors, transporters and other service providers, play an important role in achieving sustainable development objectives. For instance, they connect farmers to urban markets; make significant investments in rural areas; provide employment to vulnerable populations such as women and youth; and propel the modernization of agrifood value chains. In sub-Saharan Africa, where agriculture comprises 53 percent of total employment and 15.5 percent of gross domestic product, supporting SMAEs can have great implications for pro-poor growth and rural transformation. To support SMAEs in fulfilling their potential, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been dedicating research to better understand their policy and technical needs. This publication is such output and aims to provide an assessment of the policy and institutional framework in Senegal shaping the business models of small and medium agrifood processors. This systemic appraisal of Senegal’s business enabling environment for SMAEs was cross-fertilized with an analysis of the business models of three rice millers, resulting in a related FAO technical study 'The role of small and medium agrifood enterprises in food systems transformation: the case of rice processors in Senegal'. The analyses were carried out using a multidisciplinary agrifood systems approach, which looks at policies and institutions related to procurement, operations, logistics, finance, marketing and sales, human resources, and strategic partnerships. Due to its well-articulated policy documents and the extensive research on various aspects of the business enabling environment conducted in the country, Senegal represents a compelling case to illustrate the links between policies and the activities of agrifood processors.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Engaging with small and medium agrifood enterprises to guide policy making
    A qualitative research methodological guide
    2021
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    The methodology captures the multifaceted nature of small and medium agrifood enterprises (SMAE) business models, adding contextual insights to the literature and policy formulation processes on these small firms, which are often treated homogenously. The framework upon which the methodology is based links the business model of an SMAE to various policy areas including farmer-market linkages, decent employment (including gender equality and youth inclusion aspects), rural finance and investment, nutrition, food losses and waste as well as food safety and quality. This makes it possible to identify intervention areas that can help reconcile the commercial objectives of SMAEs with sustainable rural development outcomes. There is also scope for adapting the methodology to carry out further research on environmental sustainability and digitalization. Ultimately, more pertinent lessons can be drawn for policymaking purposes only by understanding the complex business arrangements of SMAEs and their interactions with the external environment, including the policy and institutional climate, consumer and supply base, as well as the community in which they operate.

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