How to Transform the Agricultural Sector in Emerging Markets

Read to the end of this blog post to find out how you can get the most out of your investments and/or capacity building efforts in the agricultural sector in emerging markets.


Never has the agricultural industry been under such enormous pressure; climate change, a growing population, attrition of young people from rural areas, pressure on fresh water, lands and forests. Clearly an agricultural transformation is needed to respond to these demands and trends. This sentiment is shared by many including  AGRA, who in their “African Agricultural Report”, emphatically states that now is the time for a green revolution in Africa.  To make this revolution happen and transform the agricultural sector in Africa and in other emerging markets its necessary that 1) actors in the agricultural value chain professionalize and 2) the value chain become more inclusive. Professional farmer organizations and agribusinesses are key reforms that will unlock agriculture’s potential and deliver on inclusive growth This is vital for driving change.


When agribusinesses are professionalized, they are more:

  • Profitable

  • Reliable and useful for their members

  • Likely to receive loans

  • Likely to promote sustainable agricultural practices


A Road-map for Professionalizing Farmer Organizations

To professionalize, farmer organizations need to ensure eight dimensions of their businesses have the proper policy and procedures in place to operate at an optimal level.  These areas are:


SCOPEinsight’s evidence-based tools measure the strengths and weaknesses of farmer organizations in these dimensions.  When combined with a powerful capacity building curriculum, like IFC’s Agribusiness Leadership Program, (which was designed to complement the SCOPE Basic assessment), it is exactly what is needed to transform and optimize the agricultural sector in emerging markets. The figure below outlines the key steps in advancing farmer professionalism.

We recognize that all projects are not always linear and day to day program management can be challenging. However, these steps are evidence based, help streamline programs and produce results (watch out for our next newsletter where we share the evidence using these steps). We can all agree that the agricultural sector cannot wait while decision makers shift approaches and priorities.  We should be using systems which are based on evidence, have been tried and tested and work.

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