We often focus on farm or value chain and landscape level initiatives. This presentation looked at the benefits of sector development and ways to measure health and progress over time at the sector level. Gatsby Foundation and AidEnvironment, in its works with IIED and the Food Lab, paint two pictures of why they work on sector governance. Gatsby foundation looks to the sector level for the possibility to implement structural reforms that are sustainable and achieve impact at scale. AidEnvironment’s work centers around the disparities it sees between sectors in terms of how well they function, inclusion of stakeholders, value captured by farmers, and resiliency.
The conversation presented the opportunity to think about how we work strategically outside of the supply chain and what we can do to change the rules of the game at the sector level, as well as how to approach measuring sector improvement without depending on farm-level data. Discussing the two frameworks presented (in the presentation below) initiated a vibrant discussion about the intended audience for such models (government, NGOs, or pre-competitive groups), as well as strong reactions to price stability/management initiatives in sector governance (some found the idea intriguing while others found it alarming for the unintended consequences of tinkering with price at the sector level). There was group consensus that simple price control should be avoided.
The group discussed and agreed upon several aspects of sector performance that most likely indicate a well-functioning sector, as well as several indicators that would be helpful in tracking sector improvement over time. Indications of a well-function sector included: the capacity of a body for sector coordination, revenues supporting extension and research, and quality standards that were set and enforced. Metrics to help track sector improvement included: reinvestment rate of crop tax into services for that crop, farmer/local company access to risk management tools, and value captured by farmers.