The study is significant in light of the enormous potential of agribusiness to drive sustainable growth in developing nations—“four times greater” than the growth potential from other sectors, according to the World Bank’s 2008 World Development Report.
The new report, commissioned by infoDev with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, assesses 10 case studies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, in an effort to establish a set of good practices in the heterogeneous field of agribusiness incubation.
“Agro-processing offers tremendous opportunities for increased income and job creation in many developing countries,” said Ellen Olafsen, Program Coordinator for infoDev. “This assessment illustrates a complementary approach to more conventional interventions aimed at advancing agribusiness, such as strengthening of farm-level organizations and investing in large-scale agribusiness.”
The report examines incubators with vastly different business models, scales, and entrepreneurship environments. They include agribusiness value chain and sector development incubators, agricultural research commercialization incubators, and technology transfer incubators, with starting capital amounts ranging from just US$10,000 to $50 million.
These incubators identify and target innovative early-stage enterprises with a high-growth potential and give them access to financing, mentoring, and networks so they can become competitive, sustainable businesses. In the end, the goal is to help their economies transition from agriculture-based to agribusiness- and service-based.
In addition to the study, the researchers have produced a number of capacity-building and outreach materials, including agribusiness incubation training modules and several videos of the case studies.
infoDev is engaged in developing a new model for accelerating the growth of value-adding agribusiness small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa. Building on the learning outcomes from the report, infoDev is currently carrying out feasibility assessments for Agribusiness Innovation Centers in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania.
To learn about the use of ICT in agriculture and access the ICT in Agriculture Sourcebook developed by infoDev in collaboration with the Agriculture and Rural Development Department from the World Bank (ARD), visit: http://www.ICTinAgriculture.org
To connect with infoDev’s global business incubation network members who focus on agriculture, visit: http://www.idisc.net/en/IncubatorsMap.aspx
Watch the case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the Resources section.