Sustainability in agricultural supply chains in focus: apps and studies


For smallholder farmers


AgriBORA's mobile-based service package provides geo-information services, tailor-made field analyses and advice for smallholder farmers and financial institutions in Kenya.


Keywords: weather, advice, information

Available languages: English, Kiswahili and other Kenyan languages

Application country: Kenya

Target group: small farmers, financing institutions


With the blockchain-based app AgriLedger, transactions between farmers and traders are transparent and protected against corruption.


Keywords: blockchain, traceability, free

Application countries: pilot projects in Kenya and Papua New Guinea

Target group: small farmers



AgriUp provides smallholder farmers with specific information such as weather forecasts and warnings, agricultural advice and nutrition tips.


Keywords: weather, advice, information

Application countries: a pilot project is currently underway in Guatemala

Target group: small farmers


AgriXP is an app with a connected software solution that serves as a logbook for field data. It can record crop rotation, yield and use of fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, the app provides weather information and provides the ability to map fields and assign activities to them. 


Keywords: cultivation information, field mapping, planning

Technical requirement: smartphone, laptop / desktop PC

Language: English

Ceres Imaging

The Ceres Imaging app uses aerial spectral images to observe patterns and trends over time for entire fields as well as individual rows and plants. This app is designed to detect problems with water, fertilizers, pests and diseases before they become a real problem.


Keywords: satellite monitoring, farm management, pest management, water management

Languages: English

Application countries: USA, Australia


Is an Online-Platform that offer digital farmer-sercives. It focusses on informal workers. Esoko's services include, market-information micro health-instureance and pensions. 



Keywords: Market information, insurances, farmer-services

Languages: Englisch

Technische Voraussetzung: Internetzugang, Mobiltelefon

Countries: Ghana
Target group: Smallholders  



Farmerline is an online platform that offers various digital solutions in the field of agriculture. Registered farmers* are given the opportunity to create a digital identity. This enables them, for example, to digitalise their bookkeeping and gives them access to weather and market data. Farmerline is also providing farmer training courses. 


Companies can use the platform to create profiles for their farmers, conduct digital audits and monitor cultivation areas using satellite data. 


Keywords: online platform, farmer services, market connection, weather data

Countries: Ghana

Target group: smallholders




Kurima Mari

The interactive app provides smallholder farmers with information to improve or increase their production, as well as contact opportunities to buyers or consultants.


Keywords: information, agricultural advice, market connectivity, good agriculture

Languages: English, Shona and Ndebele

Technical requirement: Android operating system

Application country: Zimbabwe

Target group: small farmers

Rice Advice

Rice Advice helps farmers to increase the productivity and efficiency of their rice harvest and thereby their income.


Keywords: information, rice, producers, free
Technical requirement: Android operating system
Applicant Countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal; other countries are in testing
Available languages: English, French, Kiswahili

Target group: small farmers, agricultural consultants, development organisations

SAP Rural Sourcing Management

The software solution enables small farmers to be digitally integrated and networked with global producers. The digital capture of all information and transactions along the value chain ensures transparency and traceability and facilitates the communication of all stakeholders.


Keywords: traceability, transparency, market connectivity

Technical requirement: mobile app, desktop and cloud app; SAP Analytic Cloud for Analytics (for management)

Applicant countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Uganda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone

Target groups: small farmers, buyers, processors


An app for easy mapping and monitoring of acreage. There is also a free version of the application available.


Keywords: cultivation information, field mapping, planning

Technical requirement: smartphone, laptop / desktop PC

Language: English

Farmforce App

Multifunctional app that provides a variety of data: farm management information, planning tools, Global G.A.P relevant product information, barcode traceability.

Keywords: farm management, traceability, harvest planning, global G.A.P., transparency

Technical requirements: PC or smartphone with Android operating system
Languages: English, Spanish, French, Portugese, Indonesian, Hindi
Application countries: Kenya, Guatemala, Thailand, Nigeria, Haiti

hello tractor 

A tractor sharing app in which farm machinery is provided by their owners and can be loaned out on order by small farmers via the app.


Keywords: land machines, tractor, farm management

Technical requirements: smartphone

Application country: Nigeria, Kenya

Target groups: small farmers, companies

Geosurvey Collect

Geo and farm date can be colltected using the app Geosurvey Collect and then be easily share using the crowdsourcing platform Geosurvey. There, plant diseases can be diagnosed and appropriate solutions can be proposed, among other things.


Technical requirements: smartphone, laptop / desktop PC

Application areas: Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa

Target group: small farmers


Active in Kenya, Twiga helps with the market connectivity of small farmers. Producers and sellers can register on this virtual marketplace and the traded goods are picked up by Twiga and paid using mobile pay directly on site.


Keywords: market connection, virtual marketplace

Target group: traders, smallholders

Technical requirements: smartphone

Application country: Kenya

Pesticides and Alternatives App

The app helps to reduce pesticide use in cultivation. It provides a database of toxicity information on registered pesticides for agricultural commodities and pest species in Mexico and India, as well as agricultural commodities in Brazil, Colombia and Kenya. It also offers safer alternatives to conventional pesticides.


Keywords: pesticide management

Technical requirements: smartphone 

Application countries: India, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Kenya

For companies

Negocios Verdes

Developed in collaboration with the Colombian Ministry of the Environment, this app aims to make green and inclusive business models visible, promote the green entrepreneurship ecosystem, and facilitate business-to-consumer contact.


Technical requirement: Smartphone with Android operating system

Languages: Spanish

Application countries: Colombia

Target group: small and medium-sized enterprises


An online network that offers blockchain agricultural solutions, Ripe connects every actor along a supply chain with technical information about a product's status. A digital twin of the merchandise is then created.

Keywords: Blockchain, traceability, transparency

For consumers


Consumers can use the website to find out about seals and certifications at any time and compare them. Alternatively, the barcode can also be scanned directly in the supermarket via the free app. The app then provides information about each seal, ratings and, if desired, comparisons with other certifications and standards.


Keywords: seals, sustainability standards, certifications

Language: German

Application countries: Germany



Topic: Living Income 

Publisher: Living Income Community of Practice 

Guiding steps towards living income in the supply chain 

This is a guide for companies seeking to address poverty and economic viability with smallholder farmers in their supply chain. 

Subject: Digitalisation in Agriculture

Pubisher: Initiative Eine Welt ohne Hunger 


Let's grow digital


Various articles will highlight the importance and challenges of digitalisation as one of the most important keys in the fight against hunger. 

Subject: Zero-deforestation supply chains

Publisher: Franziska Rau & Gerhard Langenberger, GIZ


Reaching zero deforestation in supply chains - why we need a jurisdictional approach


Illustrated by a pilot project in Indonesia, they show why a holistic approach and partnerships between various stakeholder groups are necessary to reduce deforestation-free in agricultural supply chains.



Subject: Human Rights in Global Supply Chains

Publisher: Treaty Alliance Deutschland


Briefing Paper on the Zero Draft

A treatise on the UN draft agreement for the development of a legally binding instrument for compliance with human rights standards by transnational corporations.

Subject: Adaptation to climate change

Publisher: Aidenvironment


The Climate-Smart Agriculture Papers

A compilation of various papers on climate-smart agriculture, ranging from the description of the general problem to practical examples and solutions. Particularly interesting is Part V, which contains a section on multi-stakeholder approaches.

Subject: Cocoa

Publisher: Südwind


Cocoa barometer 2018


An illustrative overview of current developments and trends in the cocoa sector.

Subject: Poverty and distributive justice

Publisher: Deutsches Global Compact Netzwerk 


Distributive justice: How do we design work to be inclusive, meaningful and competitive?

A representation of global and national income inequality, this study investigates reasons for inequality and tries to find ways to reduce it.

Subject: Digitalization

Publisher: Deutsches Global Compact Netzwerk 


Digitisation - man versus machine?

Research as to how digitalisation affects the future of work and production processes, which presents both opportunities and challenges.

Subject: Living Income

Publisher: ISEAL, Sustainable Food Lab, GIZ


From Living Wage to Living Income - Considerations for the use of the Anker methodology for calculating living wages to inform living income estimates

The document contains several case studies on corruption and serves as a guide to corruption prevention..

Subject: Regulation and sustainable development

Publisher: Fairtrade Advocacy Office

EU Competition Law and Sustainability in Food Systems - Addressing the Broken Links

A representation of European competition law, the study shows how a transformation could help to make markets more sustainable. 

Subject: Poverty and distributive justice

Publisher: Südwind


Pricing in the cocoa value chain – causes and effects

An investigation of pricing mechanisms in the cocoa sector. The study seeks to identify measures that enable the attainment of living incomes.

Subject: Sustainable sourcing 

Publisher: Christliche Initiative Romero


Thinking outside the box - socially responsible public procurement of food

An overview of the seals and certifications available and options for sustainable public procurement. 

Subject: Traceability

Publisher: Organic Services


Traceability and Technology: An overview study

The study aims to provide guidance to companies that want to improve the transparency of their supply chains. A six-step process is described. Companies can go through this process to find the right digital solution and the right provider for the purpose they are pursuing.

Subject: Corporate standards

Publisher: Mighty Earth


Easter Buyer's Guide to Environmentally-friendly

A list of 57 retailers, suppliers and manufacturers in a sustainability ranking.

Subject: Child labor

Publisher: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Malawi


Estimating the economic incentives necessary for eliminating child labor in Ghanaian cocoa production

The study investigates the link between higher prices and the prevention of child labor in the cocoa sector.

Subject: New work worlds

Publisher: Deutsches Global Compact Netzwerk 


Work standards 2.0: Flexibility, optimisation or marginalisation?

A study looking into the state of employer-employee relations.


Topic: Business and Human Rights

Publisher: Global Compact Network Germany


5 steps towards managing the human rights impacts of your business

This guide sets out a simple and thorough process for any company, but particularly small and medium­sized enterprises, to get started with identifying its potential human rights impacts on those people directly affected by its activities, and those whose lives it touches through its relationships with suppliers or other parties. It provides you with tools and approaches to understand what your business already does to address these impacts, and where it can improve. By doing this, the guide helps you to take your first steps towards human rights due diligence.

Topic: Sustainable economic activity

Publisher: Oro Verde and Global Nature Fund


Sustainable economic activity – A company guide to forest and climate protection

The possibilities for successfully integrating forest and climate protection into corporate management are manifold. But what should companies pay attention to? What risks can be avoided? With a joint publication, the nature conservation organisations Oro Verde and Global Nature Fund offer guidance in the jungle of different forest and climate protection measures.


Topic: Insect Protection

Publisher: Life Food & Biodiversity


Easy Guide insect protection in standards of the food industry

This Easy Guide is aimed particularly at managers in the food sector, such as quality, product and procurement managers. The guide helps managers to understand and assess areas of action that are relevant to insect control and which should be covered by a standard or label.

Topic: Human rights due diligence

Publisher: Fairtrade advocacy office

Making human rights due diligence frameworks work for small farmers and workers 

This report explores the potential effectiveness and impact of Human Rights Due Diligence framework and instruments, focusing on the agriculture and garment sector. 

Topic: Income and child labor

Publisher: International Cocoa Initiative

The effects of income changes on child labour


This desk study reviews the literature on the relationship between income changes and child labour, focusing on smallholder agriculture in developing countries.

Topic: Cash transfer and child labor

Publisher: International Cocoa Initiative

The effect of cash transfers on child labour


This review examines evidence from 21 studies of 13 cash transfer programmes in rural contexts across Latin America, Africa and Asia, where the effects of cash on child labour were rigorously evaluated.

Topic: Living Income

Editor: Wageningen University


A living income for smallholder commodity farmers and protected forests and biodiversity: how can the private and public sectors contribute? 

The study initially shows that measures to increase productivity or higher prices do not necessarily lead farmers in producing countries to generate a living income. Against this background, alternative options for action are presented, which are based on a more cross-sectoral and systemic approach. It is therefore rather based on factors such as farm size or income situation and their interaction with land use planning or diversification activities.

Topic: Digitalisation 

Publisher: Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Blockchain for more sustainable value chains 

The study examines blockchain technology in terms of its effect on improving the social, ecological and economic situation in the garment sector. Six case studies were selected from a total of 34 use cases and more than 30 interviews were carried out in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Recommendations and challenges for the general use of blockchain in value chains are derived from the analyses.

Topic: Gender Justice, Living Income


Publisher: FAO, KIT, Twin

Changing the Terms of Womens' Engagement in Cocoa and Coffee Supply Chains

The study looks at eight case studies that present experiences and good practices on gender-sensitive approaches to the promotion of the cocoa and coffee sector. The focus here is on the formation of producer organizations and access to investment and financing options. The case studies are based on feedback from the participants in a workshop entitled "Promoting Inclusive and Gender-Sensitive Producer Organizations and Agricultural Investments in Cocoa and Coffee Value Chains", which was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Dutch NGO Twin as well as the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) was carried out.

Topic: youth employment, cocoa

Publisher: Overseas Development Institute

Creating opportunities for young people in Ghana's Cocoa Sector

Youth employment is a key issue to ensure the future viability of agriculture. This also applies to the cocoa sector in Ghana. For this, the study presents measures that can help to make the sector more attractive for young people. It specifically addresses four different points: (1) improving access to land, (2) tailor-made credit and savings solutions (3) training and further education on sustainable agricultural practices, (4) changed perception of cocoa cultivation.

Topic: Coffee, Sustainability 

Publisher: Columbia University, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment

Ensuring Economic Viability and Sustainability of Coffee Production

The study examines the market structures in the coffee sector and shows how these are related to the current challenges in cultivation. On this basis, approaches are presented that can ensure that the future viability of the sector is nuilt upon an ecologically and socially sustainable foundation.

Subject: Digitization

Publisher: Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


Harnessing the chances of digitalisation for rural development

A description of the current evolution of digitization on the African continent. Considered are various digital applications in agriculture. 

Subject: Compliance with corporate due diligence

Publisher: OECD


OECD Due-Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct

A practical support for the implementation of the OECD Due-Diligence Guidelines.

Subject: Deforestation-free supply chains

Publisher: FAO


The State of the World's Forests 

The study initially relates forest protection to the implementation of SGDs. In addition, in case studies, it presents achievements and obstacles in achieving sustainable development in relation to forests.

Subject: Promotion of smallholder farmers

Publisher: FiBL


Group Certification – Internal Control Systems in Organic Agriculture: Significance, Opportunities and Challenges

The study outlines the benefits of building market access cooperation and increasing product quality through knowledge sharing.

Subject: Supply chain governance

Publisher: Aidenvironment


An Overview of Sector Governance

The study takes a systemic approach and outlines how improved governance of a sector can make it more resilient and effective. The study moves away from purely entrepreneurial or supply chain-based approaches to promoting sustainable production.

Subject: Natural rubber

Publisher: Südwind Institut as contracted by the BMUB


Natural Rubber in the Supply Chain - How Companies Can Recognise and Solve Sustainability Problems

A review of various risk areas in the natural rubber sector related to social and environmental sustainability. Various approaches and standards are presented as possible solutions and recommendations for action are given.

Subject: Small farmers, market connection

Publisher: OECD Food and Fisheries Papers 


Strategies for Addressing Smallholder Agriculture and Facilitating Structural Transformation

A study on the factors that cause small farmers to have no market access. It also compares the agricultural guidelines of Brazil, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa.

Topic: Living Income, Coffee

Publisher: IDH 


Strategy-Handbook Full Report - A Fact-Based Exploration of the Living Income Gap to Develop Effective Sourcing and Pricing Strategies that Close the Gap


The report was prepared within the framework of the Taskforce for Coffee Living Income. This is an alliance between various coffee companies, NGOs and multi-actor partnerships such as the Global Coffee Platform 

It lprovides various practices that companies in the coffee industry can use to close the gap between actual income and a living income that can secure the livelihood of small farmers. 

Subject: Rural development

Publisher: Institut für Entwicklung und Frieden (INEF)


Livelihoods for Transformation (LIFT) in the Oromiya Region of Ethiopia

A paper focusing on the LIFT project, which is carried out by the international NGO iDE. The project aims to implement measures to diversify and improve agricultural production and provide input and credit to improve food security.

Topic: Transparency, corporate responsibility, due diligence

Publisher: Alliance for Corporate Transparency


Research Report: An analysis of the sustainability reports of 1000 companies pursuant to the EU Non-financial reporting directive

The report of the Alliance for Corporate Transparency provides the second comprehensive analysis of the non-financial reporting of 1000 companies. The report comes ahead of the discussion on a revision of the European directive on non-financial reporting and the creation of a European standard on non-financial reporting by the European Commission.

Subject: Rural development

Publisher: Institut für Entwicklung und Frieden (INEF)


Restoration of soil fertility in northern Benin

A paper about the work of the GIZ project Soil Conservation and Soil Rehabilitation for Food Security in Benin, called ProSOL.

Subject: Rural development

Publisher: FAO


Gender and ICTs - Mainstreaming Gender in the use of Information and Communication Technologies for Agriculture and Rural Development

Focusing on gender, the study presents various measures and obstacles to the use of ICT in agriculture. It also presents seven critical factors for the success of ICT4Ag initiatives.

Subject: Living Income

Publisher: Oxfam


A Living-Income for Farmers - Tackling Unequal Risks and Market Power

The study traces the gap between the viable and actual incomes of smallholder farmers and the unequal market conditions. Against this backdrop, tips on how key buyers can help fill the void are given.

Subject: Living Income

Publisher: King's College London, Department of Political Economy


Analysis using International and National Poverty Lines as proxy for a Living Income benchmark

TThe report analyses poverty lines but national and international, which are then set in relation to the "decent standard of living" defined by the anchor method. The aim is to determine whether the poverty threshold can be used to establish a living wage and to identify the income gap.

Subject: Human Rights in Global Supply Chains

Publisher: Brigitte Hamm (INEF)


The SDGs and human rights responsibilities of companies

The study sheds light on the responsibility of companies in global supply chains with a focus on SDGs, NAPs, and the draft agreement on legally binding instruments by the UN.

Subject: Sustainability standards

Publisher: Aidenvironment, WWF, ISEAL Alliance

The Systemic Impact of Voluntary Sustainability Standards

A comparison of systemic effects of sustainability standards and purely intended "certification effects."

Topics: Deforestation, Soy, European Union, Sustainable Development Goals 


Publisher: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit 


Towards more sustainability in the soy supply chain: How can EU actors support zero-deforestation and SDG-efforts

The study presents the relationship between deforestation in Latin America and the import of certain agricultural products as well as meat. Especially the production of soya for use as cheap animal feed is one of the main drivers of deforestation. As the EU is one of the largest importers of soy alongside China, it has a clear responsibility here, according to the study. Against this background, recommendations are presented that can improve sustainability in the sector on both the demand and the supply side. 


Subject: Best practice solutions

Publisher: Elisabeth Fröhlich


CSR and Procurement - Theoretical and practical implications of a sustainable procurement process model

This anthology sheds light on the entire strategic sustainable procurement process and uses practical business examples to show where CSR plays a role and which solutions can be implemented. Not only ecological and social aspects in the buyer-supplier relationship, but also efficient supplier auditing are discussed. Numerous theoretical and practical instructions for the successful implementation of sustainability in procurement support the implementation in the company.


Topic: Due Diligence in supply chains

Publisher: British Institute for Economic and Law

Study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain


This study for the European Commission focuses on due diligence requirements to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for abuses of human rights, including the rights of the child and fundamental freedoms, serious bodily injury or health risks, environmental damage, including with respect to climate.

Topic: Cocoa sector

Publisher: Royal Tropical Institute

Demystifying the Cocoa Sector in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire


This study provides information on, among other things, demography, production methods, yields, prices, income and gender in the cocoa sector in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire 

Subject: Digitalization, global markets

Publisher: OECD Food and Fisheries Papers 


Digital Opportunities for Trade in the Agriculture and Food Sectors

A study on the digital transformation in food and agriculture. The paper shows how digital technology changes are influencing who participates in value creation and who benefits from it.

Subject: Global markets

Publisher: OECD Food and Fisheries Papers 


How Policies Shape Global Food and Agriculture Value Chains

The study analyses global supply chains from over 20 sectors and shows how legal framework conditions influence and change participation in these value chains.