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Market access

Poverty reduction through market participation

Reliable market access boosts productivity, increases incomes and strengthens food security. It can contribute to reducing poverty and hunger for producing families and their communities, if appropriate measures are taken to reduce market risks and unequal market power.

Many rural producers often face serious difficulties in accessing markets to sell their goods in the marketplace. They are constrained by their remote location, high transportation costs, limited knowledge, and the lack of business skills and an organization that could give them the bargaining power they require to interact on equal terms with other market intermediaries.

Agricultural and food product markets have changed significantly over the past 30 years. Modern value chains serving national and regional markets – particularly in urban areas – now complement traditional markets. Demand for high-value products continues to grow. All of this means more opportunities for smallholder producers, but also risks if they are pushed out of these markets.

It isn’t always easy to connect smallholders to markets, nor to ensure their produce meets market standards. Unequal distributions of power also mean small producers can earn significantly less than other actors, such as larger processors, retailers and exporters.

Selling more food at fairer prices

Increasing poor rural people’s access to markets is a top priority for IFAD. The proportion of IFAD-supported projects that include work on market access has increased dramatically over the years – from 3 per cent in 1999 to more than 75 per cent in 2014.

Better access to domestic and international markets allows small producers to reliably sell more produce, with better quality and at higher prices. This in turn encourages farmers to invest in their own businesses and increase the quantity, quality and diversity of the goods they produce.

Equitable, win-win partnerships

IFAD-supported projects work to increase greater market access and market development for the rural poor. Some of IFAD’s projects support infrastructure development to improve the physical access to markets. Others support segments of (mostly production, primary processing and marketing) or the entire value chain. These value chains are complex, involving not just producers but also input dealiers, traders, processors, retailers, and other service providers. Interventions at various links of the value chain have the potential to create income for the rural poor.

IFAD is dedicated to promoting a more systematic and pro-poor way of doing business with the private sector working in value chains. That is why we have developed the public-private-producers partnership (4P) approach, which ensures smallholder producers are equal and respected partners in value-chain partnership arrangements. 

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Food loss reduction

Food loss has negative impacts on the livelihoods, nutrition and food security of millions of smallholder farmers. 

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Viet Nam

Sustainable Rural Development for the Poor Project in Ha Tinh and Quang Binh Provinces (SRDP)

Argentina

Inclusive Rural Development Programme (PRODERI)

Madagascar

Rural Income Promotion Programme (PPRR)

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Experts

James Marc de Sousa-Shields

Lead Regional Technical Specialist, Rural Finance, Markets and Value Chains

m.desousashields@ifad.org

Lorna Grace

Lead Regional Technical Specialist, Rural Finance, Markets and Value Chains

l.grace@ifad.org

Sauli Hurri

Senior Regional Technical Specialist, Rural Finance, Markets and Value Chains

s.hurri@ifad.org

Nadhem Mtimet

Senior Regional Technical Specialist, Rural Finance, Markets and Value Chains

n.mtimet@ifad.org

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Lending a hand – and finance – to young agricultural entrepreneurs in East Africa

Abril 2022 - BLOG
We know a thing or two about connecting youth with the financial services they need to start a business – but there’s always more to learn. Here, we reflect on some of our “lessons learned” as part of a recent grant programme in East Africa.

From biotechnologist to artisanal cheesemaker

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Ibtissèm’s career in the pharmaceutical industry was off to a strong start, but she put it on hold when her mother fell ill. Back in her hometown in central Tunisia, she needed a new way to support herself and her mother – and then she realized that her skills would serve her well in her town’s bustling dairy industry.

IFAD and UN Women join hands for rural women’s empowerment in China

Março 2022 - STORY
IFAD and UN Women were each working in rural China, helping women access new opportunities and gain an equal say in their communities. Then the two agencies decided to collaborate, opening up new ways to fulfil their respective mandates – rural development on one hand, and women’s empowerment on the other.

In The Gambia, targeted COVID-19 support helps small businesses flourish

Março 2022 - STORY
Back in early 2020, when the first waves of COVID-19 were spreading around the world, IFAD launched the RPSF as a multi-donor initiative to sustain rural people around the world during the pandemic. With the RPSF’s help, many were able to start small businesses – and today, those businesses are sustaining local economies and building resilience.

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Côte d’Ivoire: Making small-scale farmers resilient to climate change

Abril 2022
The Agricultural Value Chains Development Programme (PADFA) seeks to improve post-harvest activities (packaging, storage, processing and marketing) for rice, vegetables, and mango in Côte d’Ivoire.

How to do note: Market needs and emerging opportunities assessment in NUS value chains

Março 2021
This How to Do Note is part of a series of five Notes that accompany the NUS Operational Framework.

How to do note: Promote neglected and underutilized species for domestic markets

Março 2021
This How to Do Note is part of a series of five Notes that accompany the NUS Operational Framework.