An Overview of Sector Governance
The last two decades have seen an increasing emphasis on company and supply chain driven
approaches to promote sustainable production and trade of agricultural commodities such as cocoa,
coffee, cotton and staple crops. Some of these initiatives have achieved remarkable success, with
benefits to both farmers and commercial partners. While they have resulted in ‘islands of success’,
many others struggle with the systemic issues including price volatility, unaffordable—and therefore
missing—services for farmers, and a lack of transparency. Increasingly, supply chain actors realize that
to reach sustainability at scale, value chains need to be part of high performing and resilient sectors. To
address the roots of poor performance, scaling up supply chain interventions alone is not sufficient.
These challenges often require a coordinated approach that is valuable for the sector as a whole and
also boosts the success of individual supply chain projects.
This paper will share our findings on how improved sector governance can drive sector transformation
leading to stronger sector performance with benefits for traders, processors, exporters and which
supports more sustainable livelihoods for farmers sector-wide. In this paper, we focus on smallholder
dominated agricultural sectors, in which a sector refers to single commodity at national level. However,
the authors believe that the principles of sector governance presented in this paper can also be applied
at different intervention levels (e.g. a sub-national jurisdiction or landscape), multi-commodity contexts
as well as agricultural sector governance in general.
For more information, please contact Jan Willem Molenaar.