Smallholder Data: What Information Does the Private Sector Collect About Smallholders, How Can it be Improved, and How is it Relevant to the SDGs?
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This summary presents findings from a DFID research funded project, covering the data that is currently collected by agribusinesses and their financiers about smallholders across six value chains in three countries: Ethiopia, Kenya and Malawi. Eighteen actors completed questionnaires or engaged in interviews, with six of these selected for in-depth case studies in the field, Key Findings: 1) Through their impact on smallholders' livelihoods, many agribusinesses are contributing to SDGs 1-2, but this is often not being captured at the company or national level. 2) 20 percent of the companies sampled collected data on the poverty status or income of the farmers they work with, while half of financial intermediaries did so. In contrast, 80% of companies held data on output levels or product quality. 3) Many firms lack knowledge of best practice in data collection, reducing data quality. 4) 40 percent of companies sampled are not analysing the smallholder data they collect. 5) Perceived commercial value is a key motivator for firm data collection, and this is affected by the characteristics of value chains. Value chains with more direct, longer-term relationships with smallholders create more incentives for SDG-relevant data collection. 6) Firms also collect developmentally valuable smallholder data when they are required to do so as part of 'accountability relationships' with creditors, government or donor agencies. 7) Innovation in data collection methods, such as the use of mobile-based tools, could improve the commercial value, quantity and quality of data collected about smallholders.
CitationSpratt, S.; O'Flynn, P.; Ayele, S. and Eager, R. (2018) Smallholder Data: What Information Does the Private Sector Collect About Smallholders, How Can it be Improved, and How is it Relevant to the SDGs, Brighton: IDS
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