Strengthening traditional markets benefits small producers and poor consumers

Strengthening traditional markets benefits small producers and poor consumers

By Irene van Loosen

This week CIAT’s Linking Farmers to Markets team published a new policy brief on Traditional Markets for Poverty Reduction and Food Security: Exploring Policy Options in Honduras and Nicaragua.

policy_brief29The project, funded by the Ford Foundation, was implemented by CIAT and its partners Swisscontact and Lutheran World Relief throughout 2015. The research sought to better understand traditional market channels for agricultural goods in Honduras and Nicaragua, in order to identify policy options to increase the value that these markets offer to small producers and poor consumers.

The study examined the existing rural-urban linkages between small producers and other low-income actors using a representative food basket including red beans, plum tomatoes, and cheese. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods and analyses was applied to obtain a deeper understanding of the traditional markets under study, and to identify opportunities to improve their potential for poverty reduction. Data gathered during this research was shared and validated with key actors through consultative processes, workshops and final public events in both Managua and Tegucigalpa.

The policy brief underlines the importance of informal markets for poor producers and consumers, and identifies several constraints that limit the competitiveness of businesses within traditional markets in Honduras and Nicaragua. Policy recommendations that would allow traditional markets to become more competitive and provide better services to value chain actors and poor consumers are presented.

Please access the policy brief here.