Linkages: We support value chain actors with “soft” market access interventions by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations through partners who facilite market linkages, linkages market information and financial services. Value Chain Actors are sensitized to comply with health safety and eco-standards in food production and supply chains. It is acknowledged that poor roads and lack of security, electricity, on and off-farm storage and other infrastructure services may hinder market access. These barriers fall outside the domain of the programme. However, such issues cascaded from the VCAs to the relevant authorities through the established Sector coordination structures and value chain platforms.

Efforts are geared towards strengthening value chain groups into bigger and viable entities like cooperatives, associations, companies etc. to achieve this objective, smaller entities are encouraged to merge into larger federations like Unions, cooperatives and private companies. These initiatives are pursued through the Value Chain Platforms (VCPs) at the county as well as the VCPs to be established at the regional and national levels. Existence of these VCPs is considered not only an important entry point for cost effective service delivery for improved productivity and delivery of quality products, but also provides a forum for lobbying and resolving conflicting interests of VCAs and hence Value Chain justice.

Information: Service providers are supported to provide real time information for identified needs. This includes collecting primary or secondary data and packaging of information in a more accessible and comprehensible manner, by VCAs.  On the other hand, it is true that service providers such as financial institutions and agro-input dealers provide information as it creates opportunities for sale of their products. Some initiatives entail establishing platforms for conducting transactions among VCAs. Others entail development of eco-production tracking and labelling mechanism in line with demands of niche markets.

Finance Facilitation of access to and availability of financial and insurance services to VCAs is promoted. ASDSP II partners with financial and insurance service providers and policy makers to expand or strengthen existing financial service products and build capacity and support of the development of new services. Additionally, ASDSP II leverages on existing USAID’s and Sida’s credit guarantee programmes to establish partnerships with credit and insurance providers with the aim of increasing the availability of and access to credit while mitigating risks based on commercial viability of the enterprises supported.