Saturday, June 23, 2012

63 - Value chains - examples

Let us look at some more examples of value chains that can be developed in our rural agricultural communities.

Generically speaking a value chain should have as many activities as there are specific skills or capabilities in a community. 

Another way of looking at it is - where can I best make use of my time and my skills? I may be able to do many different things but all these things may not be a good use of my time. Someone may be able to do them better than I can or at a lower cost.

It will be different for each community and for each situation.

One value chain example could be:
  • someone who raises cattle and produces manure
  • a farmer who specializes and produces seeds
  • a farmer who buys seeds and manure and sells grain
  • someone who grinds the grain and makes flour and bread
  • someone who takes flour and bread to sell at the city market
  • someone who buys farming tools at the city market and sells to the farmers
  • a farmer who teaches farming to children at the local school
Another value chain could be:

  • someone grows peanuts and sells for food
  • someone buys some of the peanuts and makes cooking oil
  • someone sells cooking oil at the city market
  • someone collects ash from fireplaces
  • someone buys cooking oil and ash and sells soap
  • someone buys the soap and runs a clothes washing business
We could go on and on. Some activities may make sense in some communities but not in others. Each community will know what will work and what will not work. In many cases one needs to experiment. Rural and agricultural communities have an advantage - many of the products needed are readily available. This is not the case in cities or even in larger communities.
The following articles have a number of examples. Look them up if you have the chance:

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