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Focus on... Markets

Globalisation of the agricultural economy has led to rapid changes in the way that agricultural products are produced, transported and sold. As commodity prices decline and value chains become more complex, smallholder farmers are encouraged to produce high value crops and engage in value-adding activities, such as agro-processing, to increase their incomes. But whilst new market opportunities offer a chance for increased prosperity, many still face a multitude of barriers in effectively accessing markets, even at local level.

Farmer organisation is a critical factor in improving farmers' access to markets. In this edition, we feature initiatives being promoted to enhance market access at local, regional and global level. From pigs and potatoes in Vietnam and Inner Mongolia, to coffee, rice, onions and high-value vegetables in Africa and cocoa in the rainforests of Ecuador, we highlight how farmers are coming together to improve their access to established markets and take advantage of emerging market opportunities.

Small potatoes, big markets in China's Inner Mongolia

Small potatoes, big markets in China's Inner Mongolia

Large supermarket chains have risen to prominence in Beijing, but there is still a place for China's small-scale farmers. Smallholders of Wuchuan County, Inner Mongolia have cooperated and overcome great distance to put their potatoes on supermarket shelves.

Date published: January 2010

Ethiopia's high-tech commodity exchange

Ethiopia's high-tech commodity exchange

Launched in April 2008, the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) has revolutionised coffee sales. Initially focussed on immediate sale and delivery of beans, the Exchange is now moving towards trade in coffee futures and speciality coffees.

Date published: January 2010

Vietnam: taking a pig to market

Vietnam: taking a pig to market

Studies of the Vietnamese pork sector are helping to advise a more equitable strategy for livestock development, which includes rather than excludes smallscale pig keepers.

Date published: January 2010

Commercial villages: improving market access

Commercial villages: improving market access

With help from Farm Concern International, onion farmers in Nyeri, Kenya, have grouped together to form 'commercial villages'. By improving their marketing and farming practices, these farmer groups have successfully increased their yields and incomes.

Date published: January 2010

Trading up in the rice sector in Nigeria

Trading up in the rice sector in Nigeria

With the backing of a local bank and the support of a marketing development project, women rice parboilers in Kano State have become traders of rice and, with the introduction of new technology, improved the quality of the rice they sell.

Date published: January 2010

Sustainable cocoa gets the seal of approval

Sustainable cocoa gets the seal of approval

Agriculture is often responsible for deforestation in Ecuador. But the Rainforest Alliance and its partner, Conservación y Desarrollo (CyD), have been working to improve farming practices in order to increase production and improve cocoa quality, while also reducing costs and conserving biodiversity.

Date published: January 2010

Zambia: meeting a tall order

Zambia: meeting a tall order

In a drought-prone province of southern Zambia, community groups have invested in drip irrigation to grow high value vegetables, year-round, and are now supplying some of the country's most luxurious hotels.

Date published: January 2010

 

 

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