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Sustainable Development

Sust. Dev. 23, 1–15 (2015)
Published online 4 October 2013 in Wiley Online Library
( DOI: 10.1002/sd.1563

Forest Spice Development: the Use of Value Chain
Analysis to Identify Opportunities for the Sustainable
Development of Ethiopian Cardamom (Korerima)
Julia Meaton,1* Biniyam Abebe2 and Adrian P. Wood3

University of Huddersfield, Strategy and Marketing, Huddersfield, UK
NTFP-PFM Research and Development Project, Mizan Teferi, Ethiopia
University of Huddersfield, The Business School, Huddersfield, UK


Value chain analysis (VCA) has been used by an ongoing project in south-west Ethiopia to
explore how a spice, korerima, can be developed to increase forest value and enhance
sustainable forest livelihoods. The Ethiopian government has identified the spice sector as
having economic growth potential within its strategy for commercializing agriculture but
the VCA identifies significant challenges that need to be addressed to achieve this. These
include practical problems of harvesting spice safely from the forest, quality issues relating
to processing and storage, and market-based issues of access and information. Practical
and organizational interventions are identified but the implications for poverty, environment
and gender are significant and more detailed, qualitative research is necessary before implementation. The paper concludes that VCA is not a quick fix and requires significant investment
and expertise for effective use and therefore needs to be part of long-term, flexible, iterative
development initiatives. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment
Received 30 November 2012; revised 15 February 2013; accepted 20 February 2013
Keywords: forests; non-timber-forest-products; spice; livelihoods; value chain analysis; sustainable development; Ethiopia




promotion of agro-industries. The GTP guides the implementation of the Agricultural Development Led
Industrialization strategy, which envisages the transformation of the Ethiopian economy from agricultural
domination towards broader economic development through the commercialization of agriculture. The GTP
identifies the spice sector for potential development and aims to increase spice export revenue from $18.5 million
in 2010 to $50 million by 2015 (ACP, 2010).
Evidence from agro-industrialization experiences elsewhere suggests that despite their goals, such policies often
have negative impacts on forest conservation, community livelihoods and gender engagement (McCarthy et al.,
2011). Hence there is a need to develop the spice sector in a sensitive way that delivers economic, environmental
*Correspondence to: Dr Julia Meaton, University of Huddersfield, Strategy and Marketing, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK.
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment

economic or contextual issues and called for more research on the impacts of interventions on individuals and communities. bamboo and spices. Value chain analysis has been applied to many sectors ranging from agro-products to garment production and its popularity and versatility has led to its description as an ‘accommodating model’ (Rieple and Singh. A key focus is the development of NTFPs. arguing that apart from a few notable exceptions (Bair and Gereffi. (2010) were concerned that most research was based on quantitative surveys.. something that Gereffi et al. McCarthy et al. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. Anderacha and Gesha) and two southern ones (South Bench and Sheko). often from the perspective of weaker chain actors. but also with regard to the broader issue of national spice commercialization policies. honey. gender and the environment (PEG) are considered not only with regard to the specific spice itself. 2001) as it can enable the understanding of production methods. 2010. Meaton et al. a core criticism of the diagnostic work on value chains is the top–down nature of many studies and the limited engagement with key stakeholders (Chitundu et al. 2005) most research ignores the PEG impacts of value chain analysis and intervention. 1 Woredas are the lowest administrative area for the full range of government services. (2005) refer to as the governance of the chain. The project operates in five woredas in the north-west of the Southern Nation. More recently Mitchell and Coles (2011) have highlighted how this could be achieved. korerima (Ethiopian cardamom). To achieve this. Kaplinsky and Morris (2001) define a value chain as ‘the full range of activities which are required to bring a product or service from conception through the intermediary phases of production (involving a combination of physical transformation and the input of various producer services). This paper identifies the actors. namely coffee. Kaplinsky and Morris. 2004. Roduner. However. (2011) argue that research has tended to focus on global governance structures in global value chains. 2010). while simultaneously ensuring the delivery of environmental services.2 J. The overall objectives of the action research project are to maintain the forested landscape and improve livelihoods of forest-dependent communities. and social benefits. Much of the literature is concerned with the identification of policies and practices that might result in greater rewards for these actors (Haggblade. 2010). This is exemplified by the Ethiopian Spice Strategy (ACP.. equivalent to a district or county. activities and relationships between actors in the korerima value chain and identifies key areas of constraint. 2012). A typical value chain analysis would deconstruct the stages through which a product passes from production to the market with the aim of identifying areas of inefficiency or ineffectiveness (Rieple and Singh. It has the potential to identify interventions that would benefit the poorest. Bolwig et al. 23. through the development of better market linkages. least powerful actors (Mitchell and Coles. 2010). this area accounts for 25–30% of all the korerima grown in Ethiopia (Figure 1). marketing and power relationships between actors in the chain. the government needs to understand the nature of spice production. the actors involved and key marketing-related issues. Tallontire et al. Most analyses address these problems and consider how benefits could be more fairly distributed among actors in the chain. 2009). Nadvi and Barrientos. 2001. with only a limited amount of research conducted on the national and local contexts within which value chains operate. Nationalities and People’s Regional state (SNNPRS). use ‘chain’ to demonstrate the vertical relationship between producers and buyers (chain actors) and the movement of a particular good or product from the producers to consumers. 2011). delivery to final consumers and final disposal after use’. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. 2007).1002/sd . 2006). Value chain analysis has become a key tool for exploring agriculture markets in developing economies (Henricksen et al. This paper provides much of this information through the use of a value chain analysis for one spice. often overlooking political. This paper draws on findings from the NTFP-PFM (Non-Timber Forest Products – Participatory Forest Management) Project operating in south-west Ethiopia (NTFP-PFM. Many of these problems derive from the inequality of power within the value chains. supply stages. Meyer-Stahmer and Waitring. which was devised as a result of just one participatory stakeholder workshop and therefore did not achieve the recommended levels of engagement with producers and harvesters (Cooke and Kothari. Overall. Value chain analysis therefore enables the assessment of barriers and constraints along the chain. Potential interventions are discussed. 2007.. Dev. and the challenges and dilemmas of evaluating these in terms of their impacts on poverty. Value Chains Most definitions of value chains.1 The five woredas of the project can be divided into two groups. three northern woredas (Masha. 2001. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10.

Their respective Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. The next section provides a brief overview of the historic and economic significance of spice in Ethiopia. 23. cumin and korerima. Over 40 spices. (Fullas. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust.1002/sd . By focusing on local contexts and communities. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. Dev. although.Forest Spice Development in Ethiopia 3 Figure 1. Spices in Ethiopia The Ethiopian spice trade can be traced back to 1500 BC. several shortcomings of the process reflect the criticisms outlined above. with the four most important being ginger. it addresses some of the concerns expressed in the literature. For many centuries Ethiopia has been a major source of spices in the Horn of Africa. as will become apparent. turmeric. Project area and its location in Ethiopia The data collection for the korerima value chain began in 2009. herbs and medicinal and essential oil plants are still grown in Ethiopia. 2009).

Dev.8 million between 2006 and 2010 (ACP. number and types of respondents interviewed Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. The Korerima Value Chain The data for this value chain analysis was collected using case-study-based qualitative methods (Flyvbjerg. was recently introduced by the NTFP-PFM project. Forest harvesting of korerima in the southern woredas of South Bench and Sheko is limited because of the predominant coffee cultivation in the forest. but as spices are widely used throughout the country. Saudi Arabia (19%). The interviews enabled the identification of production methods and stages of the korerima supply chain together with the actors involved and their specific functions.1002/sd . 2010). forest harvesting and domestic cultivation. United Arab Emirates. 2010). The key production stages are discussed below. Anderacha and Gesha domestication of korerima. and in all cultures. In the project area’s northern woredas of Masha. 2010). In export terms the current Ethiopian spice export trade is negligible. Meaton et al. wholesalers and exporters (Table 1). 2001) over several months through interviews with producers. Israel (14%) and Yemen (10%). Cultivation There are two production systems for korerima in the study area. Location. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. traders. The total value of spice exports grew by 84%. but Gesha woreda has less forest and hence less wild spice. it is growing and between 1998 and 2010 the average annual growth rate was 25% in terms of value and volume (Yimer. it is thought that this market is large. Saudi Arabia and Morocco. Location Respondents Type Masha Anderacha Sheko South Bench Tepi Gore Mettu Addis Ababa Harvesters Small shops Traders Harvesters Traders Harvesters Small shops Traders Traders Traders Traders Spice Wholesalers Spice Retailers Processing Companies Number 30 10 5 20 1 11 2 6 1 1 2 4 5 1 Table 1. 23. India. through backyard cultivation.4 J. 8% and 3% (ACP. but in the southern woredas it was introduced by the Agricultural Office in the 1980s and is much more established. accounting for less than 1% of the country’s total export earnings. For korerima. In the northern woredas of Masha and Anderacha nearly all korerima is derived from natural forests. the main markets are Jordan (44% of market share). These are illustrated in Table 2. 15%. from $3. However. There are no published figures for the Ethiopian domestic market. Yemen.7 million to $6. The most important export markets for all spices are Sudan. shares of the national spice market are 65%.

Summary of actors and their functions Harvesting In the northern three woredas harvesting occurs between October and February. ▪ Receive advance payment from the supplier. an indigenous forest-dwelling group. raise and manage seedlings in shaded areas of farmland. This variation is caused by the higher temperatures (due to lower altitude) and the longer dry season in the south. raise and manage seedlings in shaded areas of farmland. Forest harvesters walk for up to three hours to access the wild fruits. ▪ Produce threshed seeds and powders from dried fruits. green fruits because of competition between other harvesters and baboons in the Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. Transport fresh fruits to town markets on foot and horseback. undertake semi-drying. ▪ Provide the village collectors with advance payment. ▪ Purchase dried fruits from wholesalers and retail it to consumers. Table 2. ▪ Supply stock to spice wholesalers found at Merkato. ▪ Export seeds and powders of Korerima and other different spices. pack and transport semi-dried fruits to the towns on horseback.Forest Spice Development in Ethiopia Actors Forest harvesters Domestic harvesters Small shops Village collectors Traders Turmeric traders (from northern Ethiopia) Spice wholesalers at Merkato Kitchen-spice-processing companies (Baltenas) Retailers 5 Functions/Activities Harvest ripe and unripe fruits (capsules). ▪ Purchase semi-dried fruits from harvesters and domesticators.1002/sd . ▪ Collect semi-dried fruits from the farmers in villages and market places. women rarely participate. and in the southern two from July to February. ▪ Transport the stocks to Addis Ababa (Merkato) using trucks. ▪ Collect dry fruits from local traders along the main road of Tepi-Mettu. undertake drying. hotels and consumers. Dev. ▪ Purchase fresh fruits from forest harvesters. undertake further drying and sell to local consumers (in southern woredas). ▪ Purchase dried fruits from wholesalers in bulk. Because of the distance and the dangers of the forest. ▪ Sell product to supplier. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. spice-processing companies. hotels and consumers. ▪ Purchase dried fruits from suppliers in different parts of the country▪ Wholesale and retail dry fruits to retails. 23. In the northern woredas commercial harvesting from the forest is also practised by marginalized groups of communities. often combining such visits with other tasks such as hanging beehives in the forest. red pepper and other products. In Southern Woredas – plant. harvest both ripe and unripe fruits. ▪ Transport product to the main towns in north-west Ethiopia. ▪ Pack the seeds and powder in different quantities. harvest ripe fruits only. ▪ Wholesale and retail dry fruits to retailers/consumers in towns of north-west Ethiopia. Good quality korerima can only be achieved if ripe (red) fruit are gathered. Although harvesters understand this. ▪ Undertake further drying. ▪ Wholesale and retail powders of different spices to supermarkets. undertake drying and sell to local consumers in the town and suppliers (in northern woredas). wholesale and retail threshed seeds of Korerima. ▪ Weigh and purchase semi-dried fruits from the village collectors in bulk. called menjo. ▪ Produce. ▪ Mix and process the seeds and powders with other spices produce powders from hot chilli. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. In Northern Woredas – plant. transport and sell semi-dried fruits to village collectors at markets. ▪ Wholesale and retail packed seeds and powders of Korrerima to supermarkets. ▪ Pack and store the dried fruits until they are supplied to the market. ▪ Bulk. transport dried fruits to nearby urban markets and sell to small vendor shops. hotels and dry-fruit consumers. many continue to pick unripe. Sell fresh fruits to small vendor shops.

Three traders were identified who collect dried fruits from small shops and farmers. while forest harvesters typically supply undried fruits to the market. including grain and honey. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. Although storing the produce would enable producers and traders to benefit from price fluctuations. In the north. Although claiming to understand quality issues. (mainly from the Lake Tana basin area). hardly any do so. Meaton et al. prevents deterioration and allows storage. This undermines the bargaining power of farmers. preventing them from making informed choices on production. There are also logistical problems associated with storage as many chain actors have no storage space. open access forest. they do not pay more for quality fruits because they cannot get higher prices at wholesale. Threshing the dry fruits extracts the seeds so they can be ground into powder. In the southern woredas the fruits are linked together with fine lianas and hung from ceilings in farmers’ huts to dry. Domesticated korerima is less vulnerable to competition and a superior crop can be achieved. The drying method in the north involves spreading the fruits on mats. Their trade in other commodities.6 J. tainting the flavour. This is only found in Addis Ababa where a few wholesalers thresh korerima and several spice-processing companies (baletenas) supply the seeds and powdered korerima to the market. Processing Drying reduces the moisture content. 23. They also have no faith in predicting future market prices because of constant price fluctuations. adding value. They dry the fruit before retailing it to local households and bulk up the volumes before selling it to local traders or to long-distance traders in turmeric from north-west Ethiopia.1002/sd . product types and when and where to sell. The plastic bags (madaberiya) used to pack the spice often cause mould. plastic sheets and sacks which are left in the sun for between 7 and 30 days. mainly hot chilli to produce itmita and red pepper to produce berbere. bulk up the volumes and sell around 5000 kg to the turmeric traders from the north each year. but that is rarely the case. Dev. cloths. This leaves them vulnerable to soil. Many believe that the weight loss resulting from drying the product while in storage would result in less revenue. the traders clean the spices themselves whenever the market pays a premium for clean fruits. In the south. Sun-drying the fruits on raised beds is the recommended method but this is rarely practised. bacteria and mould infestations. The smoke from domestic fires causes undesirable aromas while incisions made for linking them together can cause fungal contamination. These companies add further value by mixing and grinding it with different spices. dust and moisture contamination which can result in yeast. Plastic is fine if the fruit is fully dried. are economically more important than spice. Korerima is normally just one small part of the shopkeepers’ and traders’ business. The local traders have slightly better knowledge gleaned from turmeric traders who get their information through contacts on their travels. However. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. Poor drying and cleaning have resulted in korerima from the project area being known for its mouldy aroma and poor quality. 22 shops trade in korerima. As a result there is little incentive to provide good quality spice. Local traders buy these fruits and carry out further drying. Farmers do not have access to market information and even the small shops and the traders struggle to get up-todate information on prices and demand. Marketing In the north. Each shop trades approximately 500 kg of dry korerima each year. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. The shopkeepers collect small quantities of fresh korerima from forestbased collectors and the few domestic producers. During sunny days they are taken outside and spread on the ground. local traders and domestic harvesters dry or semi-dry the fruits. Most producers do not clean their produce because the local markets do not reward quality. both domestic and forest harvesters semi-dry fruit before taking it to market. collection volumes. The absence of quality-based pricing in local markets (discussed later) means that there is no financial penalty for early harvesting. This method takes 15–21 days. The baletenas sell their products to urban consumers in Addis Ababa and other main towns of the country. Jute sacking would be more suitable but few traders use this. Consequently it achieves low prices in the national Addis Ababa market.

but some buy directly from producers’ homes. if not addressed. 2001). The dominance of spot pricing in the value chain and the non-existent contractualization between chain actors. dry and sell small quantities of fresh and semi-dried korerima to local households. Forest harvesting is problematic. number of actors retail korerima in Addis Ababa and other towns in the country. They help to decide the national price by regulating the supply of korerima onto the national market. with many overlapping and relating to each other. At present there is no legislation or regulation governing korerima harvesting and the regional forest policy up to 2011 did not effectively control open access to the forest nor facilitate constructive forest management. Participants in this research agree that lack of market information in the area. This leads to early harvesting. These collectors usually receive weekly advance payments from traders in the main towns of Aman and Debrework and transport produce on horseback to these traders. In the southern two woredas of the project area most producers sell semi-dried korerima fruits (20% to 50% dry) to the village collectors at small rural market places. These ‘pressure points’ are discussed below. further limiting the development of improved financial returns for producers. However. Dev. 2005). is characteristic of agriculture value chains in developing countries (Gereffi et al. There are a further nine or ten traders undertaking the trade by cooperating with the larger traders. There are more than 20 spice wholesalers at kemem tera. the level of holding stock. Figure 2 illustrates the value chain for the project area. who continue to reap only small economic returns for their efforts. the volume of the korerima trade in the northern three woredas of the project area is small. which. They also sell to kitchen spice processing companies in Addis Ababa. the unpredictable price fluctuations in Addis Ababa create significant risk. difficult and dangerous. The case exemplifies issues of common pool resources (Agrawal. each regularly supplying 15 000 to 35 000 kg per year to spice wholesalers at the Merkato in Addis Ababa. but unknown. Open access intensifies competition between harvesters. As a result women rarely engage in the task. They regularly buy korerima from suppliers throughout the south-west. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. A large. The poor reputation of korerima from this area and the subsequent low price offered on the national market discourages traders from paying premium rates for quality produce. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. Consequently they do not demand quality from harvesters. 23. market information is sparse. could potentially result in environmental problems concerning the sustainability of the resource base and poverty issues relating to power relations within the community. As in the northern woredas. the main market in Addis. the absence of market information. Challenges in the Value Chain The analysis of the value chain identified key problematic areas where interventions might be productive. resulting in poor-quality spice. constant price fluctuations on the national markets and the low volume of forest production are the major limiting factors. local traders in the southern area obtain some irregular information on prices and the overall supply of korerima in Addis Ababa markets through telephone contacts with brokers and friends in the capital. the season and the daily price movements in the Merkato. The traders undertake further drying and bulk up the korerima to economically feasible volumes (usually 50 quintals. The average annual supply of these other traders is thought to be some 5000 kg each. where 1 quintal = 100 kg) for transport to Addis Ababa. In Aman and Debrework there are five major traders. bulk it up and sell it to retailers in Addis Ababa and other areas of the country. However. spice from the project area attracts low prices. discourage local traders from engaging in trade development. and mirrors practices in other Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. Conversely the poor local price discourages harvesters and producers from increasing their efforts to improve and coordinate forest collection and develop domestication more fully. Small shops in the towns also buy. They buy korerima and other spices from the spice wholesalers at Merkato for sale to households. Because of quality issues. being time-consuming. the spice trading area in the Merkato. The wholesalers set purchase and wholesale prices based upon production area. Wholesalers have limited knowledge of the processes required to maximize product quality and consequently do not provide feedback on quality or specific end-market requirements to their suppliers. This helps them to make more informed decisions.. The low volumes traded.Forest Spice Development in Ethiopia 7 In general.1002/sd . and fluctuations in price. who are also in competition with baboons.

The international export market is dominated by Sudan. 2004). There are not any ‘lead’ firms developing access and niches in the overseas markets for Ethiopian cardamom and until now there has been very little intervention by the government.. Korerima Value Chain in North and South Woredas. The matrix is created by considering two dimensions for intervention: vertical integration and increased contractualization. 2012). 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. This has been adapted to frame the potential interventions for the korerima value chain (Figure 3). This is particularly difficult for women as they face challenges in getting credit in their own right. 2008) and in medicinal and aromatic plants in India (Yadav and Misra. (Caigher. Figure 2. of SNNPRS ‘chaotic’ spice supply chains in Tanzania. 2010) and other agricultural value chains in Ethiopia (Jema. Meaton et al. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. with other markets dependent on shortfalls in the production of Indian cardamom in Asia.8 J. Additional challenges are that harvesters are geographically distant from their main market and poor roads and poor communication technologies isolate them from information and input materials. Further problems relate to the fact that most harvesters do not have access to. that would improve the quality of their produce. Most actors lack market information to consider long-term activities and most do not keep records or accounts. or the finance to buy. while increased contractualization concerns the development of more complex economic relationships between chain actors. problems found elsewhere in spice supply chains (Abay. This involves moving from Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. (2008). 2008). Entering the Chain In order to reduce poverty and maximize the value of the forest and its produce to local communities the NTFP-PFM project seeks to explore how people can be encouraged into the korerima value chain. equipment such as drying racks and jute sacks. 23. Dev. Vertical integration is when actors take on multiple chain activities. Harvesters do not have access to large-scale buyers and are at the mercy of local traders. Value Chain Development Interventions Interventions that could be used to overcome these pressures can be situated within the model developed by Riisgaard et al.1002/sd . and meat value chains in Ethiopia (Legese et al. Because the harvesters and producers all work independently they do not benefit from any economies of scale.

and hence environmental benefits can also be achieved. Matrix model of Potential Value Chain Interventions (Riisgaard et al. Certainly. Bench Maji and Kaffa zones of SNNPRS. Adding Value by Taking on More Functions Moving from quadrant 1 to 2 in the model is another potential area of response to the problems identified in the value chain analysis. Managing Forest Access The action research project is assessing the potential for the sustainable harvesting of quality korerima under new forest-based production systems. Maximizing the productive capacity of the forest could make it less susceptible to agricultural clearance. harvesting and post-harvest 2 Gote is a community which identifies itself as having a common area of residence and forest use Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. Community control over the forests was finally legalized in 2012 and communities now have access rights to specific areas of forest. storing and transporting the product themselves or in groups through the cooperatives and private limited companies established by the project. Domestication is supported by the PFM Association branches who are involved in the collection of the best yielding varieties of seeds from the forest. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. The project has identified interested community members and has provided training for them. drawing on the success stories of producers from outside the project area in Gemu. This would involve harvesters. This might mean cleaning. and the ending of open forest access. Domestication is leading to more women engaged in the supply chain as they are unable to harvest from the forests because of personal dangers. taking on more functions. and members of the cooperatives and private limited companies (PLCs) on the sustainable management. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. their greater involvement in the value chain could potentially enhance sustainable forest management (Pandey. The project will continue to train harvesters. Critical for this is the introduction of PFM.Forest Spice Development in Ethiopia 9 Figure 3. 23. Each forest community (gote2) has formed a PFM Association branch which has developed a forest management plan which seeks to achieve sustainable management of their forest resources. 2008) 0 to 1 in the model shown in Figure 3. This would be an area of forest where women could be involved at less risk. individually or together. Forest Producer Groups (FPG). Dev. A further possible intervention bridging forest and domestic harvesting would be the use of forest edges for domesticated korerima (where baboon damage is less). 2010). a subset of the community PFM Association branch. The project seeks to support this by finding more economically feasible methods of forest harvesting and domestic production. and establishing community nurseries to raise seedlings which can then be distributed to the newly trained cultivators. Encouraging Domestication Greater domestic korerima cultivation would increase volumes and improve product quality.1002/sd . drying. are working with communities to enhance forest korerima production.

Increasing Contractualization Moving from quadrant 1 to 3 to increase contractualization would mean producers engaging with new chain actors. Further product upgrading through certification could also be explored through the PLCs and cooperatives. the producers could work with the PLCs and cooperatives to create direct marketing links with retailers and exporters. Progress on this quality/price issue will be achieved through producers developing closer links with the wholesale market and taking on more of the marketing functions at a lower level. or changing the terms of existing relationships to have more formalized contractual relationships. The PLCs can facilitate joint marketing of produce with economies of scale and could also manage micro-credit facilities to improve access to drying and storage equipment. These strategies include major changes in the international and national business environments that potentially could impact on a value chain. where products have been upgraded. 23. Dev. Reed. They are now diversifying into other products. This would need to be underpinned by the provision of training and materials as discussed above. 2012. including spices. also need to know about.10 J. 2009). For example. although this is not always a straightforward process (Fayet and Vermeulen. The Ethiopian government’s support of cooperatives is also critical and should help producers to gain access to credit from Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. The NTFP-PFM project’s participatory engagement with local communities over several years has focused on forming PLCs and cooperatives through which active producers in several nearby administrative areas (kebeles) are able to come together to engage in processing and trade. Critical for the PFM initiative is the development of supportive legislation. Co-ordinating Chain Segments When producers have been successful in moving towards quadrants 2 and 3 this can sometimes lead to a move to quadrant 4. and the establishment of new government agencies. (2008) proposed the notion of ‘cross-cutting’ strategies which cannot be compartmentalized into the various sections of the main model. PLCs or cooperatives would be able to trade threshed and powdered korerima to the national markets at significantly higher prices. The project is exploring processes and equipment requirements for threshing the spice to enhance the product value and reduce transport costs. Without this. The project also proposes to link the PLCs and cooperatives with financial institutions as that would allow them to access finance required to supply larger volumes on the market. Local traders need to be aware of quality production methods and how this might result in financial gain for themselves. Meaton et al. The upgraded product could then be sent directly to wholesalers in Addis Ababa. and acknowledge quality improvements. Raising the quality will not be enough to enhance its value as there is no price premium attached to good-quality korerima. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. This will involve the selection of suitable sites for drying and storing the products using locally available materials and should create opportunities for more women to become involved. In the case of korerima a number of ‘cross-cutting’ strategies are pertinent. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust.1002/sd . few of the interventions above would be workable. The project has already facilitated exchange visits for the NTFP PLCs to national spice wholesalers and processing companies to find out their requirements so that they can make pre-market negotiations. This will lead to the identification of interested PLCs capable of meeting the volume and quality requirements of the wholesalers and processing companies. Cross-Cutting Strategies Riisgaard et al. Four years of liaison between the project and the government has resulted in a new forest policy in SNNPRS that allows communities to control access to their forest and develop the sustainable use of a range of forest products. Seven PLCs have been developed for honey marketing and have been operating successfully for five years. Further value could be achieved if the product could be endorsed with organic or fair trade certification. as well as regulatory changes. while groups of communities are developing cooperatives to trade in forest products. where they become involved in the coordination of their own chain segment. who set the price. handling techniques of korerima at the gote level. Market traders in Addis Ababa. Frequently this movement would be co-dependent on moving from 1 to 2.

These initiatives are what McCarthy et al.Forest Spice Development in Ethiopia 11 Figure 4. could take the lead on the government’s spice strategy. primarily through its work with the specialist spice research centre in Tepi. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. 2009). Discussion These potential interventions all concur with global practice and it would be tempting to implement them swiftly. state policies and agribusiness agendas which. cumulatively shaping local production networks so that they can change a developmental pathway. Oil Seed and Spice Producers and Exporters Association (EPOSPEA) is in a good position to achieve this. Proposed interventions government institutions thereby facilitating the up-scaling of trading activities and the purchase of equipment. they argue. 2010) and could take a leading role in the promotion of korerima in export markets as an independent and specific spice. However. Figure 4 illustrates the various interventions discussed in this section explaining how they relate to the value chain and how they link to the model of Riisgaard et al. (2008). such as drying racks. Infrastructural issues are improving. are mutually constitutive. For korerima. EPOSPEA could model their approach on the successful coordinating role played by the Zambian cassava task force in Zambia (Chitundu et al. with the main road connections from the project area to Addis Ababa being upgraded. Dev.1002/sd . The Ethiopian Pulse. The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research is also key to some of the proposed cultivation and harvesting interventions. many projects that have intervened in value chains have been criticized for neglecting poverty. In order to guarantee markets for producers the export potential needs to be maximized.. and in a broader sense. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. The government’s spice strategy clearly intends to effect such a change and should provide a broad facilitative framework. These developments will help communication between actors in the chain with potentially significant positive impacts (Aker and Mbiti. 2010). (2011) might consider as regimen interests. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. while mobile phone coverage has reached the project area along the main roads. It was an important stakeholder in the development of the Spice Strategy (ACP. 23. it is necessary to change perceptions of korerima as the poor man’s cardamon to one of a valuable spice in its own right.

the risks of forest harvesting and its negative impacts on korerima stands could be lessened through the PFM process of developing community property rights to common forest resources. Hence. and whether that includes poorer. environment and gender (PEG) aspects. reinforcing unequal gender power balances in the communities.. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. Rights to harvest and the methods of harvesting would also have to be managed carefully so that any deterioration to the spice resource is avoided. For example. Interventions to support the domestication of korerima could benefit women.. However. There are also issues surrounding the competence of key players in the various organizations that the project is trying to support. and may show that interventions could unintentionally compound wealth and gender divisions within the community. For example. Donald (2004) found that the environmental dimensions of value chain interventions are rarely thoroughly explored with many subtle relationships overlooked while Henricksen et al. Humphrey and Navas-Aleman (2010) reviewed 30 case studies and concluded that there was ‘not enough evidence on poverty alleviation impacts from interventions to claim that they are effective or efficient in helping the poor’. It is possible that by cutting out such middlemen. but to add it to their portfolios of marketable forest-based activities. this is problematic and some of the key obstacles and dilemmas are discussed below. 2011). an approach that has had success in other projects (IFAD. property rights to specific areas of forest and forest products can be assigned to groups of harvesters (including women) who work together. the project might also cut out important individuals with existing or potential market intelligence and who play a key role in stimulating korerima harvesting and production in remote areas (Choudray et al. 2013). with its emphasis on PLCs and cooperatives could eliminate some of these actors from the value chain. However. thereby lessening individual risk and minimizing competitive early harvesting. as well as engaging women and minority groups in discussions. 2010). reviewing interventions in terms of household incomes is not enough. (2010) argue that gender analyses are rare and even those conducted are superficial and do not consider issues of power and intra-household gender dynamics. marginal and less economically engaged individuals. The project needs to consider its responsibility for these chain actors. Encouraging more people to enter the value chain is seen as positive as it is likely to increase and diversify household income. there is a growing consensus that any value chain analysis should involve significant research into ‘horizontal’ aspects before progressing with interventions. The management of backyard production is complimentary to their other tasks and encourages female involvement in the value chain. drying and packaging could also create opportunities for women. the project needs to explore further the relationship characteristics between the main actors in each of these organizations and with the community as a whole. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. Through PFM. whose development the project is facilitating. A potentially significant unintended consequence concerns the impacts on local traders currently buying korerima directly from harvesters. before further commitment to these interventions. In this way households could be protected from market shocks and seasonal variations in income. The project is also attempting to assess how such interventions might also expose actors and the environment to various risks (Bolwig et al. 23. Meaton et al. The PFM strategy. However. Adding value to the produce through cleaning. and it is necessary to identify who exactly is benefitting within the household..1002/sd . The NTFP-PFM Project team is conscious of these criticisms and is exploring the potential PEG consequences of the proposed interventions. These are likely to be dependent on cultural and community dynamics. Hence. A greater understanding of the power dynamics in the communities and how these rights are granted is required to ensure that all members of the community benefit equitably. rather than in competition. the gender rules and roles of the community need to be explored to avoid potential unforeseen consequences. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. such practices might result in women becoming more tied to their homes. or kinship care arrangements.12 J. The project will therefore find out more about the households. assigning individual property rights to common forest resources within community-based PFM may be problematic. This security of access should promote good husbandry and sustainable use. The marketing interventions focus on PLCs and cooperatives. and it might upset existing community connections such as reciprocal arrangements between women. The intention is not to encourage households and individuals to engage solely in korerima production. which will require a greater understanding of their resilience and the economic importance of korerima trading to them. The democratic process within these organizations also needs to be examined. while simultaneously making a contribution to forest protection by reducing pressure for agriculture clearance (where forest collection and forest-edge domestication is undertaken) and so generates alternative income and adds value to the forest (Sutcliffe et al. with collective marketing being a key aim. their resources and gender balances. For example. 2009). Dev. However.

there seems little awareness of PEG-related issues. Thus although the value chain analysis provides a good understanding of the actors. but the marketing strategies are either not in place or fail.Forest Spice Development in Ethiopia 13 A further connected concern relates to the price of korerima in local shops for non-actors in the supply chain. For example. by extension. Chitundu et al. (2009) argue that successful interventions require the identification of a sizable commercial opportunity with the backing of the private sector. Adoption is likely to be influenced by an individual’s own socio-economic situation and significant in-community and cross-community variations are likely. The interventions range from access to simple equipment (such as the provision of jute sacks and effective drying racks) to the development of new marketing organizations and strategies. especially power and responsibilities. and not a menu from which to pick and choose. 2011) and the project needs to gain insight into the incentives and disincentives for the different actors of adopting new behaviours. While the government is aware that developing the spice sector to meet economic targets will require ‘an effective and efficient spice value chain service delivery mechanism’ (ACP. Dev. their activities. 2007). Chain actors also need to understand that the interventions should be seen as a package. The various interventions being explored by the NTFP-PFM project have been framed within the model developed by Riisgaard et al. leading to lower rather than higher prices and a major disincentive to the producers. these findings should be regarded as the starting point for more detailed and robust research about social processes. 2010). and. These include the need to use gender analysis. Any assessment of potential interventions must take these issues into account. In response to this. While lead firms can strongly and positively influence small producers in terms of stable demand. may even make things worse. for the government’s proposed spice development strategy. participatory mapping and Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. there is a risk that local prices will increase. All of the interventions require investment and support from the NTFP-PFM project given the resources of the actors in the value chain and the local conditions. For example. If quality is enhanced and if the product is sold directly to PLCs or cooperatives. 2010) and inequitable power dynamics (Taylor. 2005). livelihood and social perspective. where increased supply held the price down. while the creation of new marketing structures and cooperatives requires lengthy external support. the NTFP-PFM project is currently exploring methodologies for assessing the potential impacts of interventions.. These concern the social dynamics in the value chain. negative impacts. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust.1002/sd . Doing this in a sustainable way that results in economic. which in turn could affect the PEG impacts of the interventions. This is likely to be a serious issue in the remote location where the NTFP-PFM project operates as the conditions do not encourage perfect competition. Conclusions and Reflections Analysis of the korerima value chain has highlighted significant challenges that need to be addressed in order to commercialize production of the spice. the connections and the power dynamics within the existing korerima supply chain. with potential long-term. Many value chain interventions concern the role of a lead firm. Monitoring how and why communities and individuals respond to these interventions is key (Rich et al. Each of these interventions poses further developmental dilemmas with the potential for unintended consequences. Neilson (2008) identified the opposite regarding coffee systems in Indonesia. As such they create a major challenge for the project team and. drawing on Mitchell and Coles (2011) recent analysis of seven case studies. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. If the government solely focuses on economics-based interventions. vulnerability and marginalization assessments. a balance has to be struck that avoids overdependence (Henricksen et al. there is a danger that the well-intended government spice strategy might fail to meet the anticipated economic gains. At present there is no lead firm involved in the korerima value chain. However. fundamental issues of forest access and product quality require innovative methods of community engagement. from an environmental. 23.. price premiums and certification (Lusby. this could lead to higher levels of production without a market. social and environmental benefits makes this task even more difficult. (2008) to help provide a coherent understanding of how they relate to the whole value chain. but the government’s spice strategy is likely to encourage corporate involvement. if the interventions relating to product quantity and quality are successful.

2010. If korerima can help the forest ‘pay for itself’ and become a more competitive land use. West Gojjam Zone. Mbiti IM. The information collected will be people-. As such it is not a quick. Such engagement. it requires significant investment and expertise if it is to be used effectively. to come together with strong collaborative synergy to attain breakthrough results. Local Clusters in Global Value Chains: The Causes and Consequences of Export Dynamism in Torreon’s Blue Jeans Industry. Potential and an Agenda for Support. Developing entrepreneurship in value chains of cinnamum tamala (bay leaf): linking poor producers to markets of essential oils and spices. Market Chain Analysis of Red Pepper: the case of Bure Woreda. Halberg N.and even time-specific and so each value chain analysis is unique and dynamic. Coles C (eds). 2001. although difficult to achieve and time consuming. From a wider perspective this research shows that value chain analysis has significant applications for understanding the challenges that small producers face in achieving a sustainable income from forest-based products. Mitchell J. Hoerman B. 2011. one-off fix and needs to be used in the context of long-term. Dev. Common Property Institutions and Sustainable Governance of Resources. and the discussions in this paper serve to frame the necessity of more PEG-focused action research. Droppelmann K. improve forest livelihoods and ensure that value is added to the forest. 2001. including the poorest. 1–15 (2015) DOI: 10. Meaton et al. Donald PF.2139/ssrn. Aker J. 2005) to explore how the interventions will work and to identify those most appropriate. In Markets and Rural Poverty: upgrading in Value Chains. The EPOSPEA have already demonstrated a strong desire to ‘extend its call for concrete action to all pertinent stakeholders.1693963 [20 October 2012]. Haggblade S. and least powerful.1002/sd . Kollmair M. 2001. Centre for Global Development. World Development 29(10): 1649–1672. Intervening in Value Chains: lessons from Zambia’s Task Force on Acceleration of cassava utilisation. 2004.doi. 2009. Lessons from this research will be fed into the national spice strategy so that more robust. is fundamental for ensuring an unbiased analysis that incorporates the views of all players. Amhara National Regional State. Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa. However. holistic and sustainable spice supply chains can emerge. Unpublished Final Report Chitundu M. individual and organized business entities as well as development partners. Journal of Development Studies 45(4): 593–620. flexible and iterative development initiatives. Haramay University. value chain analysis has the potential to become a significant driver of sustainable interventions in a broad range of areas. du Toit A. Riisgaard L. livelihood analysis (Rubin et al. This means that although value chain analysis is an attractive and potentially powerful tool for identifying initiatives for sustainable development. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons. The evolution of the methodology to include social and environmental issues as well as economic concerns is necessary so that best-practice value chain analysis addresses all aspects of sustainability. location. Spice Sub-sector: A strategy for 10. Ltd and ERP Environment Sust. Mitchell J. achieving in-depth understanding of these inter-related themes requires engagement with all the stakeholders. ACP. 211. hurried analysis. Integrating Poverty and Environmental Concerns into Value Chain Analysis: A Conceptual Framework. Development Policy Review 28(2): 173–194.. and to warn of superficial. 2010. Tallontire et al. Ethiopia. The korerima value chain analysis therefore provides a case study that highlights the key issues that need to be addressed with this particular spice when trying to increase sustainable production but this work is in its infancy.14 J. 2010. Biodiversity impacts of some agricultural commodity production systems. including public and private sectors. Agrawal A. World Development 29(11): 1885–1903. As a result. Caigher S. Conservation Biology 18: 17–37. Unpublished thesis. WP NO.’ The authors hope that this invitation will evolve into a dialogue that will shape the transformational strategy so that the fast pace of proposed change can be matched by measured and informed development interventions resulting in the sustainable development of korerima and the maintenance of forest landscapes. February 2010. References Abay A. Ponte S. Participation in the New Tyranny? Zed Books: London. Earthscan/IDRC: London. Tanzania Diagnostic Trade Integration Study. http://dx. Choudray D. 2009. 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