About us

The overall goal of the umbrella program: “Agricultural Value Chains for Sustainable Development” (A4SD) is to contribute to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by promoting well selected agricultural value chains in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Our approach is based on the Value-Link concept. We take a holistic perspective along entire value chains from inputs to inclusion of smallholders and their primary production up to processing facilities and marketing. This is crucial to mobilize private sector interest in inclusive business with smallholder farmers. By pooling public and private expertise, networks and resources we sustainably improve rural population’s livelihoods at a significant scale - reaching millions. Agriculture as a business boosts production, feeding rural and urban populations.

Currently the program brings together four projects working in four different agricultural value chains and an advisory facility :

Mutual Learning by exchanging experiences, successes and failures across value chains accelerates upscaling of best practices to new value chains and countries. The multi-stakeholder platform allows to better share and exchange individual strengths and experiences of the respective projects. A gradual harmonization of monitoring and evaluation of interventions in the four value chains allows to better display collective impact at an aggregated level and to comply with increasing M&E transparency requirements.

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Call for CARI Matching Fund proposals!



Gender pays off – A4SD wins the GIZ Gender Award 2018


A4SD won the first price in the GIZ Gender competition.



Agricultural production is an important dimension for the livelihoods of rural population in Sub-Saharan Africa. The holistic promotion of agriculture value chains by the A4SD-program contributes directly to several SDGs. Farmers are trained in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and in business skills and entrepreneurship through Farmer Business School (FBS) training. Farmers apply their knowledge on GAP and FBS to more than 60%. The application results in up to 185 % of yields increases and an increase of up to 626% in incomes. The application of GAP is highly labour intensive. It therefore has a high job creation effect. We estimate that approximately 1,100,000 full time job equivalents, mostly informal in the rural agricultural economy have been created due to the projects. In sum, the programme therefore makes a significant contribution to SDG 1: end poverty in all its forms.

Due to increased incomes, farmers are able to buy food on local markets and improve their food security. In addition, trainings on nutrition impart knowledge on a good and balanced diet. In combination, the undertaken trainings also contribute to the achievement of SDG 2 which aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

A4SD follows a multi-stakeholder approach, working closely together with more than 180 partners from the private sector, civil societies, research institutes and government institutions. They contribute enormously to the success of the project - private partners contributed 231,900,000 Euro and (mostly African) public partners 36,000,000 Euro to the implementation of the programme. Another 82,300,000 Euro was Official Development Assistance (ODA) money contributed by international donors. Thus in total partners match ODA funds in a ratio of 1 : 3.25. A4SD hence directly contributes to SDG 17: partnership for goals.

Furthermore activities of A4SD contribute to the following SDGs:

  • Quality Education (SDG 4): In GAP , FBS and nutrition trainings farmers learn important skills on farming, economics, and health and nutrition
  • Gender Equality (SDG 5): training of women in GAP and FBS contributes to improved self-esteem and agency of women who use their skill for a sustainable production and entrepreneurial decision making
  • Decent work and economic growth (SDG 8) and Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9): working along entire value chains, the program contributes to employment creation in processing industries und production. Until 2019 the projects created an estimated 1,100,000 employment opportunities along the value chains, mostly in the informal rural agricultural economy.
  • Responsible Production (SDG12) is a main objective of the programme. In trainings on GAP, farmers are trained in the responsible use of production inputs and sustainable production of crops in their farming system
  • Sustainable production also means acting towards better climate resilience and fighting against climate change (SDG 13)

Contributing to the achievement of several SDGs, the program is fully in line with development priorities laid out in the “Marshall Plan for Africa”, recently released by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The establishment of value chains and targeted support for agriculture form the cornerstones of the projects under A4SD. They create jobs and increase income in production and processing which leads to improved food security which the Marshall plan formulates as the main target. In addition, the mobilization of private investment is the main impact of the programme’s innovative Matching Fund model. 

Besides the Marshall plan aims to mobilize own funds of partner countries. This is a key aspect in the cooperation with public partners in the A4SD projects. They contribute substantially in cash or kind in the implementation of project activities, thus driving project implementation towards achieving their priority goals.

newly trained farmers


Impacts at a glance



full time employment equivalents (FTE) created


(~23 %) trained women

yield increase up to


36,000,000 €

from national public partners

231,900,000 €

from private partners

82,300,000 €

official development assistance(oda)

Cooperation with


private & public partners