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Excerpt: Private Service Providers: Preferred by Smallholders

Like all farmers, smallholder farmers require support services to provide production inputs, to market surplus production and to contribute other services like contract mechanization (for land preparation, post-harvest processing, initial value added), credit, etc. Within smallholder agriculture communities private service providers (PSPs) normally provide these essential support services that, if forced to be undertaken individually, would distract from the primary economic activity of crop and animal husbandry. These PSPs are part of the well-recognized and promoted Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) system. Frequently, they may be more accurately referred to as the Family Enterprise System (FES). Such PSPs are usually indigenous to the communities they serve, and often represent former farmers who have drifted out of farming to become supporting service providers to their neighbors. These businesses are frequently owned and operated by women, and often have such a limited market volume they operate near the poverty level.  [ Continue Reading This Article ] 

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