Value chain development for better access to local, regional and global markets

80% of the current global trade in goods takes place along value chains in which each link represents a different task, covering the entire path of a product from the raw materials to the consumer. The SDC helps producers in developing and transition countries position themselves in these value chains so that they can participate more in markets and increase their value added.

The SDC’s focus

The SDC applies the theoretical value chain development approach in order to analyse the market access options available to producers in its partner countries and identify entry barriers and potential.  Examining a value chain as a whole enables a better understanding of the competitive conditions and structural integration of economic activities.  The objective is to identify promising market potentials and promote them through development measures.

Here, SDC activities focus on the development of local and regional value chains in which poor farmers as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can participate.  The SDC supports its partners in the following ways:

  • Improving the transparency of markets, in particular by analysing value chains and facilitating access to market information
  • Encouraging the creation of manufacturer associations and initiating business contacts
  • Supporting the development of networks of micro, small and medium enterprises and their participation in local, regional and global markets
  • Establishing and expanding competitive services for investment projects, technical improvements, quality management and qualification
  • Providing advice to governments and the private business sector on issues related to market development and regulation as well as to the introduction of quality standards


Rising global GDP mainly benefits countries and regions whose businesses are integrated in local, regional and global value chains. These companies leverage markets as well as cost and specialisation advantages and learn from technological innovation processes. At present, many producers in developing countries are either completely excluded from value chains or manufacture products that offer only few opportunities for local value added – typically agricultural products.

Current challenges

It is often difficult for poor farmers and SMEs to benefit from local, regional and international value chains. They lack information on pricing or contacts to domestic and international buyers, for example. Often there are trade barriers, which disadvantage the poorer participants in the value chain in particular. That is why in addition to supporting producers, other activities are usually needed – at other points in the value chain and in the promotion of better services and legal parameters.

Current projects

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Programme d’appui à la commercialisation du bétail en Afrique de l’Ouest (PACBAO)

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2023

L’élevage et les marchés des produits animaux contribuent à l’intégration régionale et à la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique de l’Ouest. La Suisse soutient la Communauté Economique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO) et le secteur privé de la région afin de fluidifier les échanges des produits animaux entre les 15 Etats plus le Tchad. La finalité est d’accroitre le revenu des éleveurs, développer des emplois surtout pour les femmes et les jeunes et favoriser une transhumance apaisée dans la région.

Supporting livestock traceability in the South Caucasus

The image shows a close-up of a calf with an identification tag in its right ear.

15.06.2016 - 31.12.2021

Identifying where animals have come from and recording information about their health is essential in modern agriculture to prevent the spread of diseases and stop products from diseased animals reaching the market. A system to ensure traceability will help to improve the incomes of farmers in the South Caucasus by increasing both herd productivity and the producers’ access to markets.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Caucasus
Agriculture & food security
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)

15.06.2016 - 31.12.2021

CHF  5’935’000

Seeds and Access to Markets Project (SAMP) Phase 3

01.10.2015 - 31.12.2021

The project contributes to increased food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers by improving availability of and access to adequate quantities of quality seeds and planting material of suitable and diversified crop varieties. This enables smallholder farmers to produce enough food to sustain themselves, their communities, and earn higher incomes. The project strengthens national and local farmer-led institutions, supports community seed and commodity production and strengthens seed and commodity distribution networks.

Contribution to the Pan African Bean Research Alliance PABRA

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2021

The greatest global challenge today is how to ensure food and nutrition security of a rapidly growing human population, considering climate change and without adversely affecting the natural base upon which the production is dependent. Beans, as the most important consumed grain legume, are a very good source of vitamins, minerals, and plant derived micronutrients. Significant yield increase of more than 60% are possible, following access to and use of improved varieties coupled with integrated crop management practices.

Programme d’Appui au Secteur de l’Elevage au Mali – PASEM

01.12.2014 - 30.06.2022

Malgré son importance dans l’économie, l’environnement et les sociétés (agro)pastorales, l’élevage rencontre plusieurs contraintes dont la faible productivité, l’insécurité foncière, la faible organisation des acteurs et une forme de marginalisation sociale des éleveurs. La DDC souhaite valoriser les immenses potentialités de l’élevage en renforçant l’approche chaine de valeurs orientée vers le développement des marchés et des acteurs du secteur privé, favorisant la prise en compte des pauvres, des femmes et des jeunes.

Programme d’appui à la production agricole en Haiti

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2021

Le développement et le renforcement des services financiers et de conseils agricoles ainsi qu’un ciblage des groupes vulnérables en milieu rural contribueront – à travers de plus grands investissements dans l’agriculture - à une productivité et à une qualité accrue dans les filières concernées, à des revenus plus importants, à une sécurité alimentaire améliorée, à une vulnérabilité réduite et à une meilleure protection sociale des petit-e-s producteurs-trices et des personnes les plus défavorisées.

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