Implementation of the Inclusive Business Model approach

The IBM approach was developed and pilot tested by FAO under the all ACP Agricultural Commodity Programme (AAACP) funded by the European commission from 2007 to 2012. The interventions targeted business models based on identified priority commodities from a basket of cash and food crops that through innovation, value addition and strategic market linkages, could be commercialized to improve income for smallholders.

The case of cotton in Kenya.This video describes the implementation of the inclusive business model approach to strengthen trading relations between small-scale cotton producers and ginners in Kenya. 

Upscaling Inclusive business models

Many inclusive business models initiatives have been implemented on a pilot basis. As such results and innovations have had an impact on a limited scale. FAO is now trying to mainstream the IBM concept and to identify good practices that can be brought to scale to achieve greater impact. To this end FAO has held a series of workshops on inclusive business models funded by the goverment of Ireland through the project Upscaling Inclusive Business Models. 

IBM expert workshop, 1-3 October 2013, at FAO headquarters in Rome. This workshop brought together 20 professionals from 12 organizations. The main outputs of this meeting were the identification of a series of good practices for the private and public sector and NGOs implementing IBM and the development of a community of practice for upscaling IBM. 

IBM regional training, 4-6 February 2014, in Kampala, Uganda. The objective of the training was to improve market linkages projects by starting from a buyer perspective and focusing on strengthening business relationships between buyers and farmer groups. The training provided the 22 participants working on FAO projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, R.D. Congo, Rwanda and Burundi with new tools to analyze business models.

Contact: Siobhan Kelly, Agribusiness Economist, Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries division (