Making the most of agricultural investment: a survey of business models that provide opportunities for smallholders

This report examines a range of business models that can be used to structure agricultural investments in lower- and middle-income countries, and that provide an alternative to large-scale land acquisitions (plantations that are wholly owned by, or on long leases to, investors without inclusion of smallholders or small enterprises in the value chain). This focus does not imply that smallholders necessarily need to partner up with large outside investors in order to succeed. There is plenty of
evidence that suggests that, where put in a condition to work, smallholders are able to produce competitively and seize new market opportunities. Equally, the focus of this report does not imply that the business models reviewed here are in all cases preferable to large-scale plantations. In some instances, plantations may be the best option for the investor, host country
and the local community.