Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Agriculture: Enabling Factors and Impact on the Rural Poor

Governments, donors and development practitioners are focusing attention on leveraging private investment in agriculture, including through fostering public-private investment collaborations, as a means to access critical resources and achieve sustainability and scale in rural poverty reduction.

Yet public-private partnerships (PPPs) are not easily achieved and despite the obvious attractions of collaboration, different cultures, languages and incentives and sometimes even straightforward mistrust can lead partnerships to fail. In addition, leveraging private sector investment is not an end in itself but is sought because it can – under the right conditions – contribute to pro-poor development that raises incomes and strengthens food security. Understanding what these conditions are is critical, as is understanding the degree to which PPPs bring about systemic change and drive improvements at scale and sustainably.

This research will identify the key factors driving the effectivness of PPPs at bringing sustained increases in income for smallholder farmers at scale and delivering positive development outcomes across rural communities. The project aims to deliver:

  • An understanding of when and how PPPs bring about positive development outcomes and impacts.
  • A more systematic and empirical approach to the design and implementation of PPPs in agriculture.
  • An understanding of the role of brokers in the design and implementation of PPPs.

The analysis will be centred around 4-5 in-depth case studies of IFAD-financed programmes, supplemented with insights from published literature on PPPs. It will lead to recommendations for governments, private sector and donors on the role, design and implementation of PPPs that achieve positive development impacts sustainably and at scale.

Project details

start date
10 December 2013
end date
10 December 2014


About this project

Programmes and centres
Business and Development Centre


Recent work