Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 07/2008

Information, Incentives and Institutions: Experimenting with Private-Public Partnerships to Link the Poor with Modern Supply Chains

Marcel Fafchamps, Jikun Huang, Bart Minten, Tom Reardon, Johan Swinnen

March 2007

Asia-Pacific Research Center


The goal is to identify external interventions capable of reducing constraints to integrate poor farmers into modern supply chains (MSCs) and do so by experimenting with different combinations of public-private partnerships. We also will put into practice our belief that if small poor farmers are provided good information; strong incentives; and a favorable institutional environment, they can become viable MSC suppliers.

We do so in Senegal, Madagascar, India and China by: a.) developing innovative ways to build private-public partnerships; b.) providing farmers information, incentives and institutional support that they can use to become effective horticultural suppliers; and c.) by using a unique experimental approach. The project will offer farmers a way out of poverty and also will identify the constraints keeping farmers from connecting to MSCs. This information will let us create a set of Best-Practice Models. Our private partners will use these Best Practice Models to scale up across thousands of communities.