LOJK10292U  Agricultural Value Chains in Developing Countries

Volume 2013/2014
MSc Programme in Agricultural Development
Development of the agricultural sector is recognized as an important factor in the economic growth of most developing countries. As a consequence of the increasing globalization and internationalization of markets, farmers and agribusiness enterprises in developing countries are becoming increasingly integrated in global value chains. The recognition of the importance of the agricultural sector, including agribusinesses, has led to a growing interest among governments and development agencies in supporting business development and integration of farmers in markets. Local farmers and agribusinesses are offered new opportunities by increasing urbanization and globalization; however, participating in local as well as global markets is not without challenges as farmers are often faced with many institutional and economic barriers.
Professionals working in the agricultural sector need to understand the inherent complexity of agriculture-based value chains and the dynamic interaction among different types of actors. In this course we aim to provide the participants with knowledge and skills to analyze agricultural value chain development in developing countries. The course will address the following main topics:
• The nature and role of the agricultural sector in developing economies, as well as the nature of its markets including consumer behavior and retail structures
• Different concepts of agricultural value chains; and research and intervention methodologies for mapping and analyzing value chains
• Agricultural trade related issues such as value addition, value distribution, chain governance, supply chain management, and innovation and upgrading
• Strategies for enhancing smallholders’ access to markets including different types of social and commercial organization, such as associations, partnerships and outgrowing schemes
• Gender, environment and poverty in the agriculture and agribusiness development
• Institutional setting and enabling environment including the roles of civil society, private sector and the State; the importance of cultural dynamics; and characteristics of innovation systems
• Financial instruments and investment mechanisms used in agribusiness
By focusing on agricultural value chains analysis, the course will target students that want to obtain an understanding of the mechanisms regulating agribusiness in developing countries. The process will include mapping and characterizing agribusiness supply chains and networks, barriers to entry, chains governances and critical factors in the enabling environment. The course will be useful for professionals working in international agricultural development organizations, donor organizations, public agencies, national extension services, agribusiness development services, and private agribusiness enterprises.
Learning Outcome
After completing the course the students should be able to:
• Describe and define theoretical agribusiness related terminology
• Refer theoretical streams of the value chain literature
• Show overview of major value chain analysis approaches
• Reflect on the complexity of institutional and management dynamics of the agricultural sector in developing countries
• Describe the role of agriculture in economic development in developing countries

• Collect and process relevant information for analyzing agricultural value chains
• Reason about the institutional and management dynamics in the agribusiness sector
• Discuss policy and management tools for upgrading and developing agriculture and agribusiness
• Communicate ideas for agricultural value chain development in developing countries to stakeholders

• Analyze the economic importance of agriculture in a developing country economy
• Apply relevant theories to analyze complex institutional and agribusiness systems
• Apply the value chain analyses approaches to design upgrading interventions
• Analyze and identify potential improvements of the institutional environment and innovation system for supporting agricultural value chains
Will be announced in Absalon
The course will include a combination of e-lectures, class lectures and discussions, guest lectures, individual and group exercises, student presentations. Student will be working in groups analysing a selected value chain case through a number of sub-assignments. Each student develops an individual written final report based on the sub-assignments.
If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination
The individual assignment is based on a group project and must be handed in prior to the oral exam. In the oral exam, each student has a maximum of 15 minutes available. During the oral examination the student will be asked to elaborate and discuss specific issues related to the student’s individual assignment. The final grade is calculated as an average of the grading of the individual assignments and of the oral exam.
Exam registration requirements
Participation in the group presentation is compulsory in order to attend the written exam.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
Criteria for exam assesment
Fullfilment of Learning Outcome is required to obtain the grade 12

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • E-Learning
  • 10
  • Theory exercises
  • 30
  • Project work
  • 80
  • Preparation
  • 44
  • Exam
  • 12
  • Total
  • 206