Sustainable Sector Transformation
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Living Income Strategies

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Strategies to Close the Living Income Gap in Côte d’Ivoire and Indonesia.


The impact of public and private interventions aimed at increasing the income of smallholder farmers in many countries in the South has been largely insufficient. Today, for example, cocoa farmers in West Africa and rubber farmers in Indonesia do not earn a decent standard of living. In research for GIZ, Aidenvironment provided guidance on which general strategies can be implemented to improve current farm incomes to a level needed for a decent living with a specific focus on the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire and rubber in the Kapuas Hulu district of Indonesia.



The research findings identified six key pathways that, holistically, could close the living income gap of smallholder farmers in the South.

  • Viable farming systems: The basis of any living income strategy should be the promotion of viable farming systems in terms of profitability and resiliency.
  • Integration with landscape management and community development: Landscape management and community development can be important complementary strategies to create an enabling environment for farm performance.
  • Effective service delivery models: Cost-efficient, economically viable, and scalable service delivery models need to be developed and strengthened.
  • Fair and inclusive value chains: Direct trading relationships enable farmers to capture more value through direct incentives by downstream companies for quality and sustainability.
  • Market management and integrated development policies: Governments have a large toolbox they can use to influence markets, both directly and indirectly, while considering the short- and long-term effects on supply and the competitiveness of its sector.
  • Sector coordination: Collaboration and alignment by different stakeholders are keys to success beyond the scope of individual supply chain projects.


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For more information, please contact: Jan Willem Molenaar