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Access to markets: Making value chains work for poor rural people

Strong links to markets for poor rural producers are essential to increasing agricultural production, generating economic growth in rural areas and reducing hunger and poverty. Improving these links creates a virtuous circle by boosting productivity, increasing incomes and strengthening food security. Better access by small producers to domestic and international markets means that they can reliably sell more produce 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.

There are many pieces to the puzzle, however. Safe storage facilities, all-weather roads and affordable transportation are basic needs. In addition to infrastructure there is information ¿ knowing in real time about market prices and demand is vital for participation in modern value chains. Being an active member of an effective farmers’ organization also brings many essential benefits.

In focus

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Video

  • On the island of Zanzibar, the sea had always been a man's domain. But researcher Flower Ezekiel Msuya says things started to change when local women unleashed the commercial potential of seaweed.

  • On the island of Zanzibar, the sea had always been a man's domain. But researcher Flower Ezekiel Msuya says things started to change when local women unleashed the commercial potential of seaweed.

  • Chris Davis from Fairtrade International says investments that help organize farmers, such as through fair trade agreements, encourages farmers to invest in themselves and their self-interests, creating a political force capable of lasting change.

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  • Enrique Hennings
    Lead Technical Specialist, Rural Markets and Enterprises
    Via Paolo di Dono, 44
    Rome, Italy
    Work: +39 06 54592176
    e.hennings@ifad.org
  • Christa Ketting
    Junior Professional Officer, Rural Markets and Enterprises
    Via Paolo di Dono, 44
    Rome, Italy
    Work: +39 06 5459 2413
    c.ketting@ifad.org
  • Mylene Kherallah
    Lead Technical Specialist, Rural Markets and Enterprises
    Via Paolo di Dono, 44
    Rome, Italy
    Work: +39 06 54592569
    Fax: +39 06 54593569
    m.kherallah@ifad.org