The study had been commissioned under the project “Regional Training Facility for Scaling up Pro-Poor Value Chains”, a collaborative project of IFAD and HELVETAS. It is a part of the Multi country study aimed at identifying policy/constraints/bottlenecks and opportunities for Value Chain Development (VCD) initiatives. The countries included in the project are Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. In this study, the focus was on the findings from India.
The findings served as a basis for initiating policy dialogue for VCD. The context of policy assessment in this study was limited to the North East and Hilly areas because of the immense challenges to VCD in these regions. The focus of the evaluation was limited to the downstream part of the value chain including post-harvest management, marketing and processing. It has been argued in this respect that traditionally the focus of all the government schemes, development and project activities has been on production activities only whereas the downstream part has largely been neglected. It is widely recognized that to improve farmers’ income, there is need to look beyond the production level.
The main objectives of the study include: i) review of past and ongoing policy initiatives related to VCD; ii) analyze the policy constraints/ bottlenecks and opportunities for the implementation and out/up-scaling of VC initiatives; iii) initiate a policy dialogue among key stakeholders based on the findings through organizing a workshop; and; iv) prepare a comprehensive report including study findings and recommendations as input for a national forum with policy makers/ government staff, related stakeholders and donors. In consonance to the stated objectives, two broad research questions set the framework for the study, viz., : i) the situational assessment for agricultural VCD in terms of the agricultural scenario, the level of basic and agricultural infrastructure; and ii) the policy environment related to downstream part of the value chain in North East and Himalayan States of India.