Today’s agricultural markets involve a wide range of actors operating at local, regional, and global levels. The chance to link to these markets successfully offers smallholder and other producers the opportunity to increase and diversify their incomes. Yet, navigating the complex requirements to access these dynamic markets can be difficult when smallholder producers lack access to inputs and services, as well as information about market standards and preferences.

In response, new analytical tools and approaches are being developed to help small producers adapt to and compete in these changing market systems. These focus on improving smallholder farmers’ access to market information, business development services, and inputs; increasing the availability of tailored financial services; and reforming the business enabling environment.

The Feed the Future Innovation Labs for Collaborative Research work to strengthen smallholder farmers’ position in the value chain by working directly with them and other actors in the chain. The BASIS AMA Innovation Lab focuses on improving rural farmers’ livelihoods and food security by broadening their access to markets, financial services and alternative income opportunities, specialized in linking poor rural farmers with risk reducing services like credit, savings, and insurance. Horticulture Innovation Lab is diversifying the incomes of rural men and women farmers in Zambia through the production of high value vegetables, while enhancing their business skills and capacity to commercialize these products. Working in Central America and West Africa INTSORMIL developed pearl millet varieties that better meet consumer preferences. Peanut CRSP was also assessing product quality and consumer preferences to stimulate new market demand for peanut products in East and West Africa. The AquaFish and Pulse CRSPs developed market information systems using mobile technology to link farmers and traders. The Livestock-Climate Change Innovation Lab is assessing how mobile herders in Ethiopia and Kenya access market chains in remote areas and how weather-related risks affect their access to these markets.


Influences of Climate, Coping Strategies and Middle Eastern Markets on the Livestock Trade in Southern Ethiopia: Preliminary Observations

Abstract: This research brief presents preliminary observations from six months of field research and interviews with key actors involved in livestock marketing in southern Ethiopia and […]

  • Date of Publication: August 2013
  • Author(s): Peter D. Little
  • Type of Document: Research Brief

Household-Level Impacts of System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in Haiti: An SRI intervention with training, insured credit, and coordination by irrigation bloc

Haiti is one of the poorest and most food insecure countries in the world, and improvements in productivity for staple crops such as rice are crucial […]

Tailoring Contract Farming to Smallholders: Experimental Evidence on Enrollment Impact, Insurance Provision, and Communication Technologies

The research proposes three field experiments in Kenya to evaluate the potential of contract farming schemes to increase smallholder welfare. In the first intervention, a large […]

  • Start Date: 2013/06/01
  • End Date: 2017/11/30
  • Project Code: Not Available
  • Lead University:

Promoting Adoption of Improved Production Technologies among Smallholders in Ghana via Coupled Credit and Index Insurance Contracts

The Ohio State University and the African Center for Economic Transformation, in collaboration with the University of Ghana, propose to undertake a three-year program of research, […]

  • Start Date: 2013/06/01
  • End Date: 2016/09/30
  • Project Code: Not Available
  • Lead University:

Adaptation for Climate Change by Livestock Smallholders in Gandaki River Basin

Nepal is experiencing rapid climate change, whose nature and implications for livestock raising, under evolving rural social and economic systems, are poorly understood. This project aims […]

Assessing the influence of conservation agriculture on household wellbeing and Maize Marketing in Tete and Manica, Mozambique

Description: In recent years there has been a movement on the part of farmers, governments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), and the international community to promote the use […]

  • Date of Publication: 2013
  • Author(s): W.E. McNair
  • Type of Document: Thesis or Dissertation

World Food Prize 2012 | Dr. Andrew Mude | Feed the Future Greenroom Interviews

Abstract: At the 2012 World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa Dr. Andrew Mude from the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya joined Roger Thurow to […]

  • Date of Publication: 12/28/2012
  • Author(s): Agrilinks
  • Type of Document: Media

A Multiple Interventions Approach to Increasing Technology Adoption with a View Towards Scaling-Up: Evidence from Mexico (MITA)

Crop yields in much of the developing world remain below potential partly due to low adoption of profitable technological packages (e.g. improved seeds and fertilizer). In […]

Selling Formal Insurance to the Informally Insured

Farmers face enormous production risks due to unpredictable rainfall, yet most do not have any formal insurance. One explanation for this is the existence of informal […]

  • Start Date: October 2012
  • End Date: 2015/09/30
  • Project Code: Not Available
  • Lead University: