Technical co-operation in agriculture pursues a market-based approach designed to promote growth and thus create jobs. Private-sector businesses can be important partners in this approach. A direct and frequently observed result of such co-operation is an increase in agricultural production in the value chains supported.

However, evaluations have found that the poorest population groups are unable to benefit directly from such market-based approaches because they lack the resources (land, know-how, labour, finance) that are needed for participation in value chains. For smallholders with a certain level of resources, though, it is a very promising avenue. All participants must therefore be clear about which goals can realistically be achieved by co-operation with the private sector – and which cannot.

As a further benefit – regardless of sector – it has also been found that, as a result of the interest of private-sector companies in developing long-term business relationships, the activities tend to be continued after the end of the development co-operation project.