Mountain to Markets Programme
The Mountain to Markets Programme is a package of poverty-reduction measures based on participatory and systematic identification of investment opportunities in poor mountain areas. The programme gives priority to investment opportunities that are likely to:
- have a potential impact on poverty
- ensure investment sustainability and institutional viability
- generate employment
The goal is to increase the incomes of poor rural people in the northern part of Albania, the most disadvantaged part of the country.
The aims of the programme are to:
- increase cash incomes from farming
- improve opportunities for wage employment and self-employment in micro, small and medium-size off-farm enterprises
- increase investment in small-scale, commercially justifiable rural infrastructure
- improve access to rural financial services
IFAD will directly supervise its investments in the programme, working with the government through the Ministry of Finance and the Mountain Areas Development Agency (MADA). MADA was conceived in 1999 in the context of the IFAD-financed Mountain Areas Development Programme, and it will provide technical and financial coordination and day-to-day management for the new programme.
The programme targets people who are already economically active or have the potential to become active economically. They include:
- rural people who are living in extreme poverty and who are landless or have leased out their land, as well as those who are producing on a level of mere subsistence
- subsistence and semi-subsistence farmers who are willing to move into more commercial farming
- rural people who are unemployed, underemployed and self-employed
Within those groups, there is a particular emphasis on reaching poor rural women.
The programme will work to improve access to markets, technical know-how and finance for poor rural people. It will foster the development of rural markets and market linkage infrastructure. It will include vocational training, capacity-building for women, small grants for on-farm and off-farm enterprises, and grants for infrastructure improvement and for a credit support facility. A value chain analysis will serve as basis of a strategic investment programme.
An innovative feature is the programme’s support for the transformation of MADA into the National Agency for Regional Development. This would assign the agency a role and responsibilities equal to those of the regional development agencies of the European Union.
11 September 2008
2008 - 2014
Credit and Financial Services
Total Project Cost
US$ 17.95 million
US$ 9.6 million
National Government US$ 2.49 million
Beneficiaries US$ 5.86 million