for improving market access |
fundamental element of the ASARECA strategy is to develop market-oriented research
which will improve market access for producers, traders and processors. This new
approach, aims to assist farmers in the process of shifting from subsistence farming
systems to higher levels of trade and thereby increase rural incomes. Overcoming
the socio-economic barriers which confine many farmers in Africa to a subsistence
economy is a complex task, which requires new approaches from both the research,
policy and implementing sectors.
In the liberalised economies of many
African countries, farmers who formerly sold their produce, at fixed prices, to
commodity boards, have been left to fend for themselves on the open market, with
virtually no access to market information. Given these conditions it is not surprising
that many farmers have been unable to compete effectively in the market-place.
Lack of experience in negotiating with traders and a general lack of collective
marketing has meant that many producers, particularly, the small-scale farmers,
have been resigned to achieving low prices for their produce.
to the post-liberalised markets has not only been a problem for farmers, much
of the research community has also been slow to adapt to the new economic environment
and this may explain the poor rates of adoption of many agricultural technologies.
To address this issue, ASARECA has designed a strongly market-oriented strategy
for agricultural research in Eastern and Central Africa. This new approach requires
a sound understanding of market forces within the locality of operation and a
more inclusive approach to problem solving. This will require that researchers
foster more effective partnerships with private sector agents and disseminate
agricultural technologies that are more suited to prevailing market conditions.
Within this framework, market information is a key component in enabling farmers
to make rational decisions on the adoption and continued use of new agricultural
The first phase in a market
information service for producers and traders is to collect price data to analyse
current prices and market trends. In most countries, market information services
routinely collect commodity prices from sentinel markets throughout a country.
The aim is to analyse this information and redistribute relevant and timely data
to the policy and trade sectors. Unfortunately, in many African countries, marketing
information only reaches a limited number of clients or is typically not packaged
in a form which can be used by the majority of farmers and traders.
Foodnet is therefore developing research projects to find
novel ways of working with private sector agents to provide market information
which can be used by farmers, traders and processors to enhance their incomes
and reduce transaction costs. As a first step, Foodnet is working with farming
groups in Uganda to determine the best means of collating and packaging marketing
information for this target group. This research is also investigating how the
organisations of farmers and traders effects their ability to use market information.
The purpose of this work is to increase transparency in the marketing system and
therefore stimulate more activity in the marketplace.
Market information a key element in the process of increasing farmer incomes and
first study on supporting the market information needs of farmers and small-scale
traders was developed in collaboration with P. Robbins of the "Commodity
Marketing Information Service". This study analysed the market information
available to small scale maize farmers. The report from this study is presented
in the document below:-
preliminary study of the maize marketing system in Uganda and the design of a
market information system (PDF file 118kb)
a follow up to this study a stakeholders meeting was held in Kampala from 1-2
December. The aim of this meeting was to determine the agencies involved in Ugandan
and Regional marketing information services, how they operated and how such systems
could be incorporated into a service for producers and traders.
meeting for "Strenthening the Market information Service in Uganda"
December 1-2, Kampala.
a follow up to the stakeholder's meeting a second report was developed as part
of the design of the market information service for farmers and producers.
of a preliminary study of the maize marketing system in Uganda and the design
of a market information system (PDF file 83 kb)
above PDF files will be available at this location at a later time.
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