Loans are available to these smallholders only at excessively high rates of interest, if at all. Development co-operation must therefore seek to ensure that the provision of financial services for the groups targeted by development co-operation is given high priority. When negotiating the common ground, it is also necessary to make sure that any potential areas of conflict are identified and spelt out. For example, it is in the interests of sourcing companies to buy their products at the lowest possible prices, while it is the task of development co-operation to promote the degree of organisation and hence the negotiating position of small-scale farms. Private-sector involvement must never be at the expense of the target groups of development co-operation.

In recent years there has been an increased focus on the establishment of equal partnerships between development co-operation and private businesses; such a partnership is a key factor in the success of a co-operative project.