Managing risk and facilitating market opportunities to improve rural livelihoods
Economic growth in developing countries reduces extreme poverty, increases peoples’ security, improves health care, and literacy. Achieving broad-based economic growth, however, particularly for smallholders with limited income and technical knowledge, begins with ensuring access to resources and markets while improving the operations of those markets.
Rural and small-scale agricultural producers in developing countries face specific constraints to economic growth. They are often isolated, must travel long distances to reach regional market centers, and are greatly affected by small weather, market or conflict-related shifts. Increasing regulation makes it very difficult to develop businesses and break into new markets.
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Assets and Market Access (BASIS Assets and Market Access Innovation Lab) targets their investments on projects and research that help smallholders achieve economic growth despite their limited income, technical knowledge, and market access. The BASIS AMA Innovation Lab operates a best-practice award winning Index-Based Livestock Insurance initiative that builds on the earlier Global Livestock CRSP’s research on pastoral risk management in Kenya to help pastoralists manage drought-related livestock mortality. Their research on policy measures that lead to increased savings, affordable inputs, and improved technologies for smallholders has shown that participation in seed fertilizer subsidy programs can increase maize yields in Malawi.
Other Innovation Labs and earlier CRSPs have also increased their attention to the role of markets and have supported a range of activities on building value chains in livestock, pulses, peanuts, fish, horticulture, and staple grains.
Investments in projects to provide equitable access to finance and insurance, improve risk management, transfer knowledge on business development and sustainable uses of natural resources, and improve policies to positively affect the stability of the rural poor and encourage entrepreneurship and economic growth.