Guiding sector transformation

Guiding Sector Transformation: inclusive, effective and sustainable

A well-performing agri-food sector requires a strong base of well-organised and professional producers (product push); a strong market demand for the produce (market pull); well-established services along the value chain; and evolving governance structures. Dealing with the complexity of sector transformation and connecting different building blocks of the sector, we apply a range of concepts, approaches, models and tools.

We use these to promote climate-smart agronomic practices to ensure yield; quality standards rewarded by the market; and business models inclusive of smallholder farmers, women and youth.

Moreover, we facilitate the development of institutions that are effective in governance.

Convening multi-disciplinary teams

For effective sector transformation we create truly multidisciplinary teams that combine content with process expertise. We leverage on:

  • a wealth of on-the-ground experience
  • a vast global network in industry, government, civil society, research and education
  • the integration of our products and services (programme design and implementation, process facilitation, training and advisory services and action research)
We are always looking to build bridges with those within and outside of WUR for very specific and relevant knowledge.

Building relationships

While technical expertise is important for sector transformation, it is also crucial to build relationships and change attitudes. Our integrated perspective takes into account the different ambitions which stakeholders have for their sector. This also requires innovation in the social and political arena.

Our experience in facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships makes it possible to create connections, address social issues and deal with the complexity of these systems. Our staff are trained and well-rehearsed in the art of working with people, including many skilled facilitators, trainers and brokers, along with an aptitude for communication, negotiation and mediation.

Improving the enabling environment

In practice, we design interventions that create capacities at human, organisational and institutional levels. Furthermore, we consider the interrelatedness and complementarity of these within a system.

Whilst innovating the day-to-day management of tasks performed by stakeholders, we also invest in improving the enabling environment. By presenting evidence we facilitate reforms to policies, laws and regulations and guidelines, as well as support their implementation.

We try to ensure that the rules of the game actually support what is considered good practice on the ground.


Creating a vibrant seed sector

Our goal is a vibrant, pluralistic and market-oriented seed sector, achieved by strengthening the capacities of entrepreneurs to produce and market quality seed; creating market demand for a wide range of new, improved and adapted crop varieties; empowering smallholder farmers (in particular women) in decision making; improving services to the seed sector; brokering trade relations with Dutch and international companies; and facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships for improving seed sector governance.

Our integrated seed sector development approach is applied to national programmes in Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda and Myanmar; a regional community of practice for Africa; and an annual international course in the Netherlands.

Bringing the Ghanaian vegetable sector to a higher level

We are in the lead of the GhanaVeg consortium, aimed at establishing a sustainable and internationally competitive vegetable sector.

Key objectives include improving productivity, facilitating more efficient markets and further professionalising value chains for increased vegetable production and consumption. This is achieved by supporting frontrunners with information on technical innovations and business opportunities.

We facilitate coordination between government, industry and knowledge institutes to tackle hampering issues, improve the business climate and enhance sector growth. In addition to facilitating public-private dialogue on issues of strategic concern, GhanaVeg funds innovative business ideas for R&D; arranges trade missions and offers B2B matchmaking services.