The fairly short project terms in German development co-operation also pose a challenge, because private-sector companies think and plan long-term. Developing trust between possible business partners and establishing formal business relationships is invariably a protracted process. In the agricultural sector the difficulties are compounded by the dependence on vegetation periods and the possible impacts of bad weather conditions. In addition, introducing technological and agronomic innovations to smallholders can take a great deal of time – time that is often not available in development co-operation projects.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that the trend towards co-operation with private-sector companies to promote the agricultural sector will continue. It is therefore essential for development co-operation to do more to acknowledge private businesses as equal partners than has previously been the case. In addition, development co-operation must be more systematic in identifying how the private sector can contribute and what added value for development arises as a result – partly in order to learn from this for itself and make more appropriate use of such co-operation in future, and partly in order to be better able to explain the advantages of co-operation to a critical public.