Parveen Sultana Huda

Parveen is one of the widely recognized professional of Bangladesh with 23+ years of experience in the Human Resources and Project Management fields with leading organizations both as a professional and consultant. She is currently working for BRAC University's Centre for Entrepreneurship Development as a Project Manager to manage a 4 year project titled Digital RMG Factory Mapping - Bangladesh. This project is being funded by A Foundation and administered by BRAC USA. Parveen started her own consulting firm – Renaissance Consultants Ltd. – in 2006 and has so far provided HR Development; Management, Organizational Development, Project Management and Business Development support to various local and international clients. She has worked for some reputed foreign organizations including the Asia Indigenous People’s Pact Foundation (Thailand), British Council, RTI International (USA), PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, UK), Agro-Inputs Project (AIP funded by USAID’s Feed the Future program), ILO, GIZ (previously GTZ), ITC (International Trade Centre – Geneva), ActionAid Vietnam, ActionAid Pakistan, etc.

A Starting Point: assessing leading practices in global Contract Farming

South Asia
19. Nov 2012

“We can do this [contract farming] we just need to start somewhere" – ACI Agribusiness Director

In order for any new business venture to be successful, it must be built on the awareness of what has been attempted, what has succeeded, and most importantly, what has failed. In early 2012, ACI (Advanced Chemical Industries) based in Dhaka, Bangladesh decided to pursue an inclusive business model that they as well as the majority of Bangladesh had limited experience with or exposure to: Contract Farming of perishable produce.

ACI partnered with the Business Innovation Facility (BIF), and a team of consultants from ADP (Accenture Development Partnerships) was recruited for the project. The team was tasked to conduct a landscape assessment of leading practices in the global space of contract farming, and then to construct an operating model and provide recommendations for a pilot. The landscape assessment focused on perishable produce in the rural areas of SE Asia, India, Africa, and Bangladesh. Several models were discovered with varying degrees of execution difficulty, investment levels, and social and commercial outputs. The team then conducted a feasibility study of ACI’s capability in carrying out a program of this nature and constructed evaluation criteria used to rank each of the contract farming models that had been analyzed. Taking this all into account and being mindful of future scalability, the team positioned a ‘best-fit’ model for ACI to move forward with in building the contract farming initiative.

The Intermediary Model was chosen to be the most appropriate launching point into contract farming for ACI. In this model, an intermediary party acts as the go-between for the company and the farmers. For ACI, the intermediary was positioned to be a local NGO that has developed relationships with farmers through other programs and will help build trust between the farmers and ACI. The NGO would also be involved in the following:

  • Recruiting farmers to participate in the program
  • Providing onsite guidance for the farmers regarding the use of specific techniques and inputs
  • Assisting with the negotiation of contracts
  • Managing the transactions between ACI and the farmer when providing inputs and purchasing the yield
  • Measuring the progress and results of the initiative

One of the most attractive attributes of the Intermediary Model is that it is centered on balancing the social and commercial impacts, which is a main priority of ACI, as discussed further by the ADP team in a related blog: Negotiating the social and commercial landscape.

The full assessment report on global contract farming has been developed into one of the BIF ‘Project Resources’ and can be downloaded by following this link: Sustainable Contract Farming Initiative - Contract Farming Landscap.... The joint BIF/ADP team hopes it can be useful, informative, and interesting to others wanting to learn more about Contract Farming in the global marketplace.