In much of Africa, smallholder farmers face serious difficulties selling their produce. But farmers, along with development agencies and governments, treat the traders who market their goods with suspicion and mistrust.
Trading Up shows how traders struggle to run their businesses in the face of adverse policies and attitudes. With more respect and support, they could develop markets, add value to products, invest in new businesses, and improve the efficiency of the food distribution system. They could generate demand for farm products and help improve the incomes and livelihoods of rural people.
Trading Up’s 15 richly illustrated cases from countries as far apart as Ethiopia, Lesotho and Ghana. Commodities covered range from soybeans and coffee, to milk and wool. The book shows how relations have been strengthened between the farmers, traders, wholesalers, processors and retailers in the value chain. It describes how they have built institutions (such as market information systems) and agreed on rules (such as standard weights and quality grades) to enable agricultural markets to function better.