At the same time, participation in an AVC is expected to enable access to appropriate technical innovations as well as consultancy and financial services. Thus smallholders are also to be put in a position to intensify their activities and raise productivity and production, enhance the quality of their produce and market it better in order to ultimately earn a higher income. Simultaneously, via the creation of wage labour – in particular for low-skilled workers – in primary production, processing or commerce, an additional contribution is expected to be made to poverty alleviation.

However, civil society organisations caution that focusing smallholders on production for the market and in particular on growing cash crops for export is to the disadvantage of their own food production. Especially among initiatives involving large enterprises, they see the danger of the economic interests of these enterprises clashing with development goals. Furthermore, they criticise the all-powerful influence above all of transnational enterprises on the produce grown and the production methods applied, which can lead to a non-sustainable form of agriculture with extensive monocultures and one-sided dependence on the part of the smallholders.