Learning from 4P case studies

Learning from 4P case studies

How to build successful Public Private Producer Partnerships (4Ps) for agricultural development? At the least, a clear market demand, a stable market, and a motivated company need to be in place for successful 4Ps. And these are just a few factors that SNV learned from experience with the Partnering for Value (4P) project. Today, SNV launches a report with several case studies from this project. The practical experience from these case studies is used to outline factors that are important for successful 4Ps business cases.

The Partnering for Value project piloted brokering mechanisms for 4P business cases, within the framework of IFAD-funded Value Chain Development Projects. In total, more than 20 4P business cases were brokered during the project. This experience led to a number of insights and reflections. SNV now uses these to provide key lessons on the use of the 4P approach.

When there is a stable market and a specific market demand (for example to meet high quality standards), there is strong motivation by all partners to invest in each other. We have seen this with a 4P partnership in El Salvador where a milk processing company, a dairy cooperative, and the government decided to cooperate to improve the quality of the cooperative’s milk to meet an increasing demand for cheese. By investing in a cooling tank, a small laboratory facility and improved practices of the producers, the milk quality strongly improved, making the milk suitable for cheese production.

Another lesson was the absolute necessity of equal participation and co-ownership of the 4P business case by all partners. In two 4P partnerships (one around sesame in Mozambique and one for chicken eggs in Vietnam), smallholders had not been properly involved in the development of the 4P business case. As a result, both business cases were based on wrong estimations of smallholder farmers’ ability and willingness to participate. In both cases, this led to unrealistic targets and high costs.

More of these insights are outlined in the report. For a better understanding of what these lessons mean in practice, the project cases are used as practical examples. In doing so, this paper aims to contribute to a better understanding of what influences and contributes to the success of a business case, and how to better apply the 4P approach in the future.