The Blog

Market Monitoring across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus: Linking the COVID Market & Supply Chain Monitoring Experience in Lesotho to Livelihoods Programming

Market Monitoring across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus: Linking the COVID Market & Supply Chain Monitoring Experience in Lesotho to Livelihoods Programming

Multiple Uses of Market Monitoring Market monitoring is often considered primarily a humanitarian sector activity, where price and food security information helps identify potential red flags requiring changes to targeting or valuation of cash and voucher assistance or direct food deliver, often built around Minimum Expenditure Baskets. However, market monitoring has a multitude of uses across […]

Highlighting an Article: “Is sustainable vanilla the flavor of the month?”

Highlighting an Article: “Is sustainable vanilla the flavor of the month?”

Time for another quick entry here to spread the word about a recent article on sustainable vanilla production, from GreenBiz.com, entitled “Is sustainable vanilla the flavor of the month?” The article takes a quick look at some of the key issues in vanilla production: eliminating child labor, traceability, and price volatility. Given the low volumes purchased […]

Market Systems Development in Ghana

Market Systems Development in Ghana

According to USAID, ‘Market Systems Development is a body of international knowledge, guidelines, good practices and lessons learned that provide a more effective, sustainable, and beneficial way for poor people to develop their capacities and improve their lives. Indeed, Market Systems Development has proven a critically important tool for working with markets to better serve the needs of […]

Agroforestry and coffee in Madagascar

Agroforestry and coffee in Madagascar

While we often hear about lemurs, vanilla and other spices when talking about Madagascar, we don’t always think about coffee. However, Madagascar has been a long-time producer of coffee – both arabica and robusta which is mainly bought, sold and consumed in local markets. You will find coffee in almost any local market, and usually […]

Cacao Agroforestry Systems – A Cost Benefit Analysis

Cacao Agroforestry Systems – A Cost Benefit Analysis

Building on Dan McQuillan’s Coffeelands Blog series on issues surrounding farm profitability, I want to shift a bit to the world of Cacao and highlight some work coming out of CRS’ Allianza Cacao program in El Salvador. Agroforestry approaches, increasingly promoted globally, present a complex set of challenges for evaluation – with so many interrelated variables, what is the […]

New USAID Report on Private Sector’s Role in Sustainability and Scale: 5 key takeaways from the Enduring Results Study

New USAID Report on Private Sector’s Role in Sustainability and Scale: 5 key takeaways from the Enduring Results Study

The recently released Enduring Results Study 3.0 led by CRS takes on a task that few projects have the luxury of doing – it takes a retrospective look at project outcomes two years after funding has ended to evaluate drivers of sustainability and scale. Drawn from 29 USAID partnerships with the private sector, the ERS 3.0 is […]

New book: Value Chain Development and the Poor

New book: Value Chain Development and the Poor

A quick entry here as I want to point people in the direction of new collection of studies on value chains. Value Chains – Value Chain Development and the Poor: Promise, Delivery, and Opportunities for Impact at Scale, edited by Jason Donovan (CIMMYT), Dietmar Stoian (World Agroforestry), and Jon Hellin (IRRI) is published by Practical Action […]

Innovations at Origin: Young Coffee Entrepreneurs

Innovations at Origin: Young Coffee Entrepreneurs

After reading Bloomberg’s article on cost of production and profitability for Guatemalan growers earlier this month, There Is No Money in High-end Coffee for Guatemalan Growers, I was inspired to add a few more posts to last year’s multi-article series on profitability in the Latin American Coffeelands (series begins here). I want to highlight an […]

Moving from Savings Groups to Agroenterprises

Moving from Savings Groups to Agroenterprises

Among the questions posed in the last entry was:  What are the best ways to organize farmers and achieve economies of scale? What models outside of cooperatives may be more realistic and sustainable? Contained within the question is whether how a group is formed matters. Does the path to forming a group orientated around a business objective matter? […]

An Expansion of the Coffeelands Blog

An Expansion of the Coffeelands Blog

After more than a decade since the inception of the Coffeelands Blog, in 2009, it’s time to take things in a new direction. The formal Coffeelands program has officially come to an end, providing us with natural point for reflection and an inflection point for the blog. As we move forward in our work, what […]