Risk and uncertainty are ubiquitous and varied in agriculture and in agricultural supply chains. The range of influencing factors includes the vagaries of weather, unpredictable nature of biological processes, pronounced seasonality of production and market cycles, geographical separation of production and end uses, and unique and uncertain political economy of food and agriculture sectors, both domestic and international.
Frequently, attention is focused on addressing one type of risk that particular stakeholders face (e.g., the weather risk facing farmers or the price risk facing traders), even though supply chain actors are typically interdependent and need to manage several types of risk.
This paper provides a conceptual framework and set of detailed guidelines for conducting a system-wide assessment of risk, risk management, and vulnerability within agricultural (commodity) supply chains. Such assessments would collect and compare risk factors and response opportunities involving the broad range of supply chain participants, including private and public sector support service providers and the broader enabling environment (e.g., macroeconomic, trade, and regulatory policies).