The best practices and potential of smallholders’ participation in short value chains in the Western Balkans and Turkey

The overall objective of this report is to identify and conduct analysis of short food supply chains (SFSCs) among small farmers in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The report’s analyses are based on the primary data collected from 397 smallholder farmers through semi-structured interviews in all Western Balkan countries/territories (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) and Turkey.
The report analyses shed light on several issues related to smallholders and SFSCs, such as types of sales channels used by small farmers for selling their products; the level of information about and knowledge of the SFSC; contractual arrangements applied; the use of food safety and quality standards; best practices of and barriers to small farmers’ participation in SFSCs; the role of SFSCs in promoting environmentally friendly farming practices; the role of SFSCs in promoting the economic viability of small farms; and the role of agricultural policy in supporting small farmers’ access to SFSCs. Based on these analyses, the report also derives policy recommendations.

Overall, the report concludes that SFSCs are an attractive way of adding value to primary food production and improving small farmers’ livelihoods in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Key policy measures that could boost small farmers’ participation in short value chains are improvement of advisory services; provision of investment support targeted to small farmers and SFSCs; better access to finance; and enhanced support for cooperation and bottom-up initiatives for partnerships.