Agricultural Value Chain Finance Innovations and Lessons: Case Studies in Africa

This resource appears in:


The 22 case studies and examples presented in the document represent a diversity of approaches, tools, contexts and target groups highlighting agricultural value chain finance (AVCF) in sub-Sahara Africa. The focus of the work was to develop teaching cases to be used in training events and university studies as well as for interested readers interested in learning more about diverse experiences of applying AVCF in various parts of Africa.

Case study identification and selection was carried out by the author, by AFRACA, by lead informants and a lead informant workshop organized with support by AFRACA, and others consulted. Only half of the cases identified and researched made it through to be included in the document.
From use of case studies in training on AVCF, it is quickly noted that short case studies are most valuable, especially in a workshop setting. Hence, the majority of the cases are short cases. Four long highlight cases deal with more complex cases and are great for universities and for whenever the trainees have sufficient time to read and review the cases. Also, the training facilitators can draw information from them even when time is not sufficient for using as a full case such, as in a breakout session. During the research, in some instances, there was a useful learning point of interest to highlight but not a need or sufficient information for a full case study. Hence, the heterogeneity case length and distinct models and tools is by design. All cases have been tested in only or more AVCF training venues in Africa in order to test their relevance and application plus to find where the information or questions were not clear, and then revised accordingly.

Each case study and the case examples have 3 to 5 questions at the end of the case study. These are to guide the facilitator in their work and also are meant to stimulate the reader/participant to think about the key lessons and implications of the case. As teaching cases, it is important that the persons discussing the case come up with the lessons. Hence the case study descriptions themselves deliberately do not provide the analysis or try to give all of the “answers,” but rather to provoke thinking and discussion.
Sometimes the case studies are referred to as best practice cases. While most do focus on best or better practices, it is a judgment term and best not used. Also, two cases focus on the demand constraints featuring agribusiness SMEs who cannot get sufficient financing for their VC operations and VC partners. These generate discussions in group work since participants related with their scenario.

The cases are available individually and/or with the Synthesis document will all of the cases. The synthesis is designed as a short document meant to introduce the cases, group them and provide some overall comparisons and lessons. Chapter III of the Synthesis provide an overview of each case and some highlights to help trainers quickly know the essence of each case for selection in their training and for readers to quickly learn the topics and cases and then go to the Annexes to study them. The cases contain a one-page summary table of case information which is useful to summarize some of the key aspects of the case and to build the Summary Comparison Table that is at the end of the Synthesis document. The Case Examples are in the Summary table at the end but do not have or need to have their own Summary Table.

The Agricultural Value Chain Finance Innovations and Lessons: Case Studies in Africa cases is meant to be a “living document” with cases that are updated regularly, replaced or revised by practitioners working in AVCF. The document and case studies work well with the 10 module (plus 11th Islamic VCF module) AVCF training course published by FAO, which is available at here.

Document Information

Document Type Case Study
Author Calvin Miller
Year of Publication 2019
Number of Pages 54 pages
Region / Country Africa /
Primary Language English (en)
Keywords Agricultural Value Chain Finance, Risk Management, ITC, Gender
Related Resources