Contract Farming Resource Centre

A Year in Review and Additions to CFRC


FAO’s contract farming team comprises core members from the Agrifood Economics Division (ESA) that focuses on agribusiness and economic aspects of contract farming and the Development Law Service (LEGN) on legal and regulatory aspects. Contract farming work at FAO has been a multidisciplinary and collaborative endeavor among our team members and with collaborators and partners at and beyond FAO for over two decades.

As the year of 2022 closes, our team would like to provide an overview of FAO’s contract farming work and what we have been doing in supporting field projects. And importantly, since we have made changes and added many news and resources to our Contract Farming Resource Centre (CFRC) this year, we take this opportunity to summarize news and resources added to CFRC to help you navigate our site.

A snapshot of the contract farming work at FAO

Our team carries out the contract farming programme work in collaboration with other teams and offices at and beyond FAO. Our team manages CFRC, creates and disseminates knowledge and information products, conducts training, promotes sharing of knowledge, best practices and experiences, and fosters linkages and partnerships among relevant stakeholders. The target audience is primarily practitioners and stakeholders in public and private sectors that are interested in learning about, piloting, designing, implementing, and promoting contract farming.

In addition, as a significant part of our work, our team provides technical support to projects and programmes at the country and regional levels, which mainly includes one or more of the following areas:

  1. providing training on contact farming along with other capacity building activities, such as forming stakeholder working groups, conducting stakeholder consultations, and involving and engaging stakeholders in project implementation based on the participatory approach;
  2. reviewing and assessing the legal, regulatory and policy environment for contract farming;
  3. Developing draft contract farming legislations through participatory approach to help countries create enabling environment for contract farming;
  4. conducting value chain analysis and feasibility assessment for selected value chains based on FAO’s Sustainable Food Value Chain framework to identify opportunities, assess incentives, capacities, risks and challenges for contract farming, and provide recommendations on piloting, preparing, managing, evaluating and upscaling contract farming operations and on other measures to create an enabling environment, and hence help relevant stakeholders make informed decisions on adoption and implementation of contract farming;
  5. facilitating linkages between farmers and buyers and market, and designing and facilitating contract farming pilot including the development and negotiation of model contract agreements.

We employ the participatory approach to involve and engage stakeholders in every aspect and throughout the projects to ensure ownership, capacity building and sustainability. We provide evidence-based analysis to help stakeholders make informed decisions on adoption, implementation and upscaling of contract farming as an innovative business model and develop needs-driven and context-specific design and recommendations. Building capacities and empowering smallholder producers and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSEMs) are at the centre of our work to leverage contract farming to maximize sustainability-aligned impacts.

Recent technical support to field projects

Recently, our team has helped to design and implement contract farming projects in Belize and Lesotho that encompass all the above five areas of technical work. We have just initiated a collaborative work on contract farming for hazelnuts in Azerbaijan. Our team also responded to inquiries about contract farming work from Angola, Benin, Nepal, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates among others. Please check out our news updates to find out more about our work in field projects.

Additions to CFRC: news, knowledge products and resources

News updates: please find various news updates on contract farming work, including news on the contract farming pilots and value chain and feasibility studies on contract farming in Lesotho and Belize, workshops, initiatives, and new publications.

Library: please check out over 50 new additions of papers and reports on contract farming this year.

Learning resources: new learning materials are added to our Training and Learning Center (TLC), including

  • The updated Contract Farming Course in six modules in PPTs;
  • An overview of contract farming learning resources in PPTs that provides an overview of FAO CFRC and key publications for contract farming;
  • “Contract Farming Learning Resources” that was developed through reviewing key literature on contract farming and compiling key references for 22 important subjects and topics on contract farming;
  • A list of Key Literature on Contract Farming is also created for further reading and learning of contract farming;
  • An evaluation form for contract farming training can be used by trainers to assess the effectiveness of the training and help both the trainers and us to improve our training programme.

Contract Farming Course in TLC: please find the updated content for the course overview and the training modules and also check out the PPTs for the updated Contract Farming Course.

Toolkit: new additions to our toolkit this year include 

  • Sample contracts: our team has developed two new model contract agreements, one for honey in Belize and one for dry beans in Lesotho, under our recent projects, in alignment with the Model Agreement for Responsible Contract Farming (FAO and IISD, 2019) and UNIDROIT/FAO/IFAD Legal Guide on Contract Farming (2015)
  • Presentations: two new presentations based on our technical reports that will be released and shared on CFRC soon.
    • The Value Chain Analysis and Feasibility Assessment for contract farming in Lesotho that presents key findings and recommendations for dry beans, potatoes, broiler chicken and port—the four selected value chains.
    • A Scoping Assessment for Contract Farming Practices in Belize
  • Other six new tools that may assist the design and implementation of contract farming schemes have also been added to Toolkit section:
    • A checklist facilitating farmers’ selection for contract farming pilot
    • A questionnaire for buyers that facilitates the feasibility assessment of contract farming and the development and negotiations of the contract agreement.
    • A questionnaire for producers that facilitates the feasibility assessment of contract farming and the development and negotiations of the contract agreement.
    • Guiding questions for contract analysis for planning and implementing contract farming operations
    • A compliance tracking matrix that helps prepare, manage and evaluate performance of contract farming operations developed based on FAO’s Guiding Principles for Responsible Contract Farming (2012) and the contract samples on our CFRC.
    • A short questionnaire for field visit


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].