Insights 2010
Insights 2010

Insights emerge from the lessons we learn through local experiences in supporting pro-poor business development.

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Private-Public Partnerships: Key Areas for Intervention. As with most ‘hard’ learning the experiences we share here emerged from failures and mistakes. Despite the failure, or maybe because of it, these experiences provided us with valuable insights into how we might better facilitate market access for small farmers. Here we share five pitfalls we experienced that public investment programme designers and managers should be aware of. We also make some suggestions as to how they might deal with them in on-going or future programme designs.

Smallholder Market Access Services Fail to Reach Commercial Scale. Improving small farmers’ access to markets attracts much public interest these days. Sadly, projects are limited in scale and duration. They only benefit farmers inside the project area and the benefits stop when the project ends. In response, renewed efforts to improve small farmer access to markets include ‘commercialization’ of these services. Over the last five years we have been attempting to commercialize market access services in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with support from IFAD. We have identified five important steps towards commercialization of these services.

Risks Facing Market Linkage Service Providers. Linking smallholders to markets is full of risks. Risks arise from simple things like carrying around cash and getting your market prices wrong. Everyone knows that lots of things can go wrong when moving produce from farm to factory. Not following standards and regulations can also lead to losses. Less well known are the many ways buyers can reduce your profits or even cheat you completely. Undisciplined farmers can also drive up the costs of providing market linkage services. This brief provides examples from our experiences of some of these risks.