WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAIN.
The full range of value-adding activities required bringing a product or service through the different phases of production, including procurement of raw materials and other inputs is what the World Bank describes as the VALUE CHAIN. With this definition, the value chain is a set of linked activities that work to add value to a product; it consists of actors and their actions that improve a product while linking commodity producers to processors and markets.
In the Agricultural Value Chain, the following actions are required for the product to reach the consumers; input supply, production, processing, and marketing/trading. To better your understanding of these actions, let us examine them one after the other.
● INPUT SUPPLY: In farming, inputs include improved seedlings, fertilizers, crop protection chemicals (excluding our services because we use organic crop protection practices), machinery, and water for production activities. The backbone of any agricultural revolution is access to modern agricultural inputs; crop yields and productivity can be hindered if there is inadequate or low accessibility to the best seedlings, high cost of agrochemicals, and climate change such as a change in temperature and irregular rainfall.
● PRODUCTION: This refers to the process of cultivating lands, raising crops, feeding, breeding, and raising livestock. Poor irrigation of farmlands, pest and disease attacks, and low utilization of mechanized tools can affect production.
● PROCESSING: In processing, raw harvested agricultural products are converted to valuable and marketable products. In this process, inadequate skilled personnel, high cost of processing equipment, limited storage facilities, and high cost of power generation can be some of the challenges that will be encountered if proper strategies are not put in place.
● MARKETING/TRADING: Marketing takes a seat at the end of the chain; it refers to the process of moving agricultural products from the farmer to the consumers after processing. Some of the challenges that could be encountered in marketing and trading include; inadequate market information, illegal importation of foods, high cost of transportation, poor infrastructure – bad roads, insecurity amongst others.
In Nigeria, the struggle for food security is becoming tough by the day with the rapid increase in the nation’s population and insecurity, This has made the production of enough food to feed the population quite difficult. More people need to get involved in the agricultural value chain so as to actualize the food security that will enable the nation to feed and export thereby growing the economy and reducing hunger.
Value chains work best when the actors partner to produce high-quality products and generate more income for the participants on the chain.
We will like to know! Have you participated in any part of the agricultural food chain before? Tell us on any of our social media handles