LINK Methodology
A participatory guide to business models that link smallholders to markets
IB topics
Gender
Inclusive business models and strategy
Innovation
Partnerships
Sector
Agriculture or Food
Region
Global

Details

tt-toolkit
Published by
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Partners
Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)
Published on
April 2014
Language
English, Spanish
Format
PDF

Key Learnings

By the end of the LINK process you will have:

  • understood the relationship between specific business models (buyer and seller) and the overall value chain;
  • identified critical areas for improvement;
  • designed, implemented, evaluated and improved on the innovation prototype for the business model you selected; and
  • evaluated the effects of these changes on smallholder farmers and on the business itself.

Description

Inclusive business models, understood as those businesses in which smallholding producers are involved as providers (or sellers), represent opportunities for economic and social development for both producers and private actors (or buyers). Farmers need to gain access to markets, knowledge, technology and income, while buyers will need to adapt to a supply-constrained market where they are better able to source key raw materials to their specifications at a competitive cost and even access higher quality products.

Faced with this great challenge, LINK’s methodology builds bridges between the two. The guide is mainly aimed at facilitators who mediate the processes between sellers and buyers. LINK can help your organization facilitate a systematic learning process between actors from a selected value chain, and discover new opportunities for innovation, based on the application of a participatory toolkit, with four main tools:

The Value Chain Map

Goal: To understand the context in which the business operates.

Key questions: Who are the actors and what roles do they play? How do products, service and information flow through the chain?

The Business Model Canvas

Goals: To examine how a specific organization functions, using a wide-angle lens. To define the current situation and vision for the future.

Key questions: How does your organization work? Does it have a viable business model?

The New Business Model Principles

Goal: To evaluate how inclusive a trading relationship is.

Key questions: How inclusive is this trading relationship? How can you identify areas for improvement?

The Prototype Cycle

Goal: To design and implement inclusive strategies using a cyclical learning process.

Key questions: How do you move from theory to action? How can you incorporate innovation ideas into a work plan?

 

This toolkit is relevant for you if...

  • You are a facilitator - your mission is to support smallholder farmers through service provision and the coordination of sales with buyers
  • You are a seller/ producer - you are looking for new customers for your products
  • You are a buyer - you want to expand your supply chain to include smallholder farmers

Contact

Mark Lundy, Sustainable Food Systems Program Leader, CIAT

m.lundy[at]cgiar.org. 

Syllabus

LINK Methodology - Version 1.0

A participatory guide to business models that link smallholders to markets

Published by: International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Partners: Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)

Authors: Lundy, Mark; Becx, Gertjan; Zamierowski, Nancy; Amrein, Alexandra; Hurtado, Jhon Jairo; Mosquera, Erika Eliana; Rodríguez, Fernando.

172 pages, 2012

Access Toolkit - Version 1.0 (English)

Access Toolkit - Version 1.0 (Spanish)

(Metodología LINK: una guía participativa para modelos empresariales incluyentes con pequeños agricultores)

LINK Methodology - Version 2.0

A participatory guide to business models that link smallholders to markets

Published by: International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

Partners: Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)

Authors: Sopov, Monika; Lundy, Mark; Even, Brice & Huong, Pham Thuv

180 pages, 2014

Access Toolkit - Version 2.0 (English)

Access Toolkit - Version 2.0 (Spanish)

Metodología LINK: una guía participativa para modelos empresariales incluyentes con pequeños agricultores

LINK Methodology - Abridged version

Published by: International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT); Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM); Wageningen University Research (WUR)

Authors: Sopov, Monika; Lundy, Mark; Even, Brice & Huong, Pham Thu

36 pages, 2014

Access Abridged version 2.0 (English)

LINK Methodology - Gender Responsive Manual

Published by: International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) & Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).

Partners: The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA); Wageningen University Research (WUR); Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) & Rikolto (formerly VECO Mesoamerica)

Authors: Lundy, Mark; Amrein, Alexandra; Hurtado, Jhon Jairo; Becx, Gertjan; Zamierowski, Nancy; Rodriguez, Fernando; Mosquera, Erika Eliana, Gumucio, Tatiana.

48 pages, 2017

Access Gender Responsive Manual (English)