The majority of extremely poor and chronically undernourished people live in rural areas. A large proportion of these are smallholder farmers, who often have no access to important means of production such as land, seeds and fertilisers, nor to financing. In most cases they also lack the opportunity to become better informed about important aspects such as sustainable production practices, entrepreneurial behaviour, markets and prices.
In order to integrate smallholder producers into national and international production and trade processes and to improve the living situations of the people involved, German and international development cooperation are increasingly emphasising the promotion of agricultural value chains. This means all stages in the production process of agricultural goods – from the provision of inputs and the production, harvesting, processing and distribution of crops to the consumption of the products.
Value chain promotion is intended to contribute to improving agricultural production and processing, with a view to increasing people's incomes and creating jobs. The overarching goal is to reduce poverty in the countries concerned and to improve the food situation.