Synthesis Documents

Developing Smallholder Rubber Production: Lessons from AFD's Experience (AFD 2009)

    This evaluation examines AFD's interventions to support the development of smallholder rubber plantations. It is based on a review of AFD's projects in the rubber sector in three countries: Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana. To provide a broader context to the review, the smallholder rubber plantations that AFD supported in the 1990s in Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea are also analysed, along with Thailand's policy support to smallholder rubber plantations.

    The support provided by AFD to farmers in the rubber sector has included:

    (1) technical advice on planting and inputs,
    (2) credit for investment and plantation maintenance, and
    (3) support for the formalisation of land titles for plantations.

    Summary of results
    This study demonstrates the technical and economic importance, and viability, of smallholder rubber plantations. To go achieve impact on a broader scale, the development model needs to be supported by public policies that facilitate sustainable growth in the rubber sector. At a local level, contract farming schemes involving an agro-business and even a bank in the development of smallholder rubber plantations appear to deliver positive and sustainable outcomes. However, they do not seem appropriate when poverty alleviation is also pursued through rubber plantations development.

    Recommended measures to help the poor attain the best outcomes from rubber production include land distribution in favour of the poorest farmers, along with targeted subsidies to facilitate the entry of the poor into the rubber sector. 'The level of commitment of partner governments to support smallholder rubber plantations, together with the support AFD receives from other development partners in this sector, will be decisive in enabling AFD to make headway on the path to building a new generation of projects and programmes.'

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Synthesis Documents
    »L'appui à l'hévéaculture familiale: Capitalisation sur l'expérience de l'AFD (AFD 2009)