Outgrower schemes are systems that link networks of unorganized smallholder farmers with domestic and international buyers. Also known as contract farming, these schemes provide benefits to players along the supply chain. Buyers can improve their control over crop supply, often at pre-agreed prices, as well as crop quality standards. And farmers can access more secure markets, often receiving technical and financial support by cultivating out-grower schemes.
When effectively designed and well managed, out-grower schemes can address numerous sustainable agriculture objectives. They can facilitate greater private sector investment in developing countries, improve sustainable sourcing practices by bringing smallholder farmers into mutually beneficial partnerships with large buyers, and increase smallholder farmer incomes by improving yields and quality through training, access to credit and markets.