Approaches to VCA and VCD
Value Chain Analysis (VCA)
- offers a framework to look in detail at growth opportunities and constraints within a whole sector from local to (where relevant) international levels
- helps understand why particular stakeholders and/or types of enterprise find it difficult to enter certain sectors
Value Chain Development (VCD):
- addresses the key leverage and/or blockage points at each level.
- develops multistakeholder VCD strategies to promote the interests of the most vulnerable.
Some VCD interventions focus at the top end of value chains as a ‘pull-up’ strategy working with large entrepreneurs and governments.
Others focus on empowerment of smallholder producers.
VCA tools have also become important in supply chain management in large and multinational businesses, and particularly those concerned with the ethical dimensions of their business either in itself, or because of market pressures.
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Women are very important as producers and workers in most value chains, and their importance in supplying national and international markets with both traditional and high value products such as textiles, coffee and cocoa has increased significantly over the past few decades.
However, at the same time there is increasing evidence that women are marginalised or excluded from the more profitable agricultural and manufacturing chains and/or the profitable parts of these chains. Women-owned businesses face many more constraints than those of men, and receive fewer financial and nonfinancial services. In multinational manufacturing and agricultural chains, even where enterprises are governed by ethical codes, there is often an explicit policy to enforce gender division of labour based on gender stereotypes, reserving permanent and full-time work for men and arbitrarily assigning lower value to women’s work.
In commodities like coffee and cocoa, women often do the bigger part of the cultivation work. But because the land usually belongs to their husbands, women are not eligible to join many cooperatives or receive credit and are not targeted in technical training.
Lack of credit also excludes women from participation in the more profitable downstream trading activities. Because men own the land they also consider themselves entitled to control all the money from the cash crop.
Moreover, women are often unable to seek out the best markets for their products due to their work overload (cultivation, barter trade, caring for children), lack of money for transport, and sometimes threats of gender-based violence.
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