This theme is concerned with enhancing commercialisation of smallholder farming through improved access to input and output markets. This will be done by analysing bottlenecks to input and output marketing; promoting viable approaches that improve access to markets; and advocating for an enabling policy environment. Viable approaches will be supported by technologies to promote value addition to agricultural produce. The theme also focuses on continued engagement with value chains and innovation systems and emphasises the importance of trade in driving market processes.
It addresses the CAADP Pillar IV theme: “Development of Sustainable Market Chains” and expands opportunities to tackle new and emerging issues as more countries actively pursue a CAADP-based agenda. This theme also addresses the sub-optimal investment in regional solutions using a targeted advocacy strategy.
The overall objective of the Markets, Market Linkages and Trade Theme is “Enhancing regional commercialisation and competitiveness of strategic crops, livestock and fisheries”. This objective will be realised through the following sub-themes and potential intervention areas:
1. Policies for enabling domestic and regional trade: This sub-theme will have four main thrusts:
• Facilitation of enactment of enabling trade policies through analysis and advocacy. Some of the core policy areas under this will include options to minimise tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and provision of marketing infrastructure.
• Facilitating the implementation of enabling trade policies through capacity building, advocacy and awareness creation.
• Scaling out the development, adoption and use of harmonised product standards and regulations to enable access to various niche markets.
• Developing and promoting use of appropriate models for forecasting inputs and outputs market trends.
2. Develop and promote of institutions for enhanced market access: This will involve strengthening (where they exist) and developing (where they are missing) market institutions in the sub-region.
The focus will also be on developing, validating, building capacity and scaling-up promising institutional innovations for business development, management and entrepreneurship. These will include collective action to enhance smallholder access to technologies and service functions.
The service functions will include assembly, storage, marketing, financing (including factoring arrangements) and business development services in general.
3. Value chain upgrading: Upgrading value chains of key commodity sectors in the region will include developing and promoting innovative agribusiness advisory services. This will be achieved through systematic and structured research, delivery, management and financing models or approaches of business advisory services. Further work will involve promoting, adapting and using TIMPs along key value chains and building capacity in the sub-region for participating in local and regional value chains. Market innovations around value chains (e.g. market information systems, bulk storage, warehouse receipt systems, etc.) will be developed and promoted. This sub-theme will also focus on promoting models for enhancing access to productive resources (land, seeds, finance, fertilisers, labour, mechanisation and pesticides).
Business incubation of generated TIMPs: Business incubation has become an innovative way to nurture the products of science into viable consumer products. This will involve developing business incubation models and generating lessons, and promoting and strengthening business incubation models to catalyse uptake of promising market innovations by the private sector.
The following outcomes are expected from the proposed investments:
• Accelerated adoption of inputs by smallholders as a result of improved access to markets and reduced transactions costs.
• Business enterprise development through institutional innovations such as organising farmers to purchase inputs and sell outputs collectively.
• Increased private sector investments in agriculture and agro-industries.
• Establishment of viable and practical market linkages between producers/farmers/ pastoralists and institutional buyers.
• Establishment of business chains and trade facilitation institutions, support organisations and business associations for improved access to domestic and regional markets.
• Enhanced capacity of farmers to engage in domestic, regional and international markets.
• Increased information, knowledge and networks to support the development and implementation of policies that favour increased agricultural productivity.
• Enhanced farm level productivity through the pull effect of output markets.
• Improved utilisation of innovations to enhance smallholder access and participation in markets.