Market Assessment

IDE in Bangladesh & India - MA model to create markets for rural poor, 2003

    To create pro-poor, high-value agricultural markets for smallholder farmers worldwide, IDE formulated a new approach to market development by conducting market assessments that integrate subsector analysis and BDS MA methodologies. Through the SEEP Practitioner Learning Program, IDE is testing and verifying a new approach to market development for the rural poor; building the capacity of field staff to conduct market assessments and use them for strategic planning; and disseminating lessons learned. Following selection of a geographic area, IDE explores market opportunities & constraints, interviews SEs & key informants, conducts focus group discussions & market surveys, and generates a subsector map to prioritize activities and interventions.

    IDE's Poverty Reduction through Irrigation and Smallholder Markets (PRISM) model derives from an understanding of the subsector value chain and the BDS needed to catalyze both demand and supply side market forces. The MA tools IDE is developing are the key market analysis and data collection instruments that drive its program design and implementation processes. IDE used field-tested questionnaires, interview tools, and information sources to conduct preliminary market assessments of the vegetable subsector in Bangladesh and the pineapple subsector in India. Demand and supply side tools help identify existing providers; determine market size, penetration, and constraints/ opportunities of existing services; and assess the potential for viability.

    Methods for info gathering
    Focus group discussions, In-depth interviews, Key informant interviews, Provider interviews, Provider surveys, SE surveys, Validation workshops

    Summary of results
    In Bangladesh, the study found that farmers, and in some cases wholesalers and retailers, lacked knowledge, skill, and information on cultivation practices for different vegetables; information on soil nutrition and management and IPM; market information on demand and prices; and access to good quality seeds, irrigation, and credit. There was also a shortage of labor during planting and harvest seasons. Market opportunities included a strong, consistent demand for vegetables and good potential for increasing production and raising prices, in part by introducing organic production practices and by cultivating off season. Existing service providers are the government agricultural extension service, NGOs, private sector input suppliers, and neighbors. However, most farmers rarely seek outside assistance. Farmers indicated a willingness to pay for services and an awareness raising campaign could help stimulate both demand and supply of needed services.

    The area of study in India is home to a rural tribal population, with nearly 70% living below the poverty line in extremely tough, mountainous conditions. Though rich natural resources abound, social and economic networks are weak. Farmers grow a variety of crops, but live far from major markets and are at the most disadvantaged end of a long marketing chain of middlemen who collect product to sell to traders who in turn sell to wholesalers and retailers who then move it to markets and processors. Most farmers do not cultivate the pineapple variety most in demand due to often unavailable, costly seed. In addition, the season is short, the fruit highly perishable, and if traders are unable to travel to the area for any reason, the product spoils or is sold locally for even less money. A great disappointment was the closing of a local agro-processing unit built with government subsidies. The Horticulture Department processing unit at district headquarters is not a commercial enterprise.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Impact Assessment
    »A Model for Pro-Poor Wealth Creation through Small-Plot Irrigation and Integrated Service Provision, IDE India and Nepal 2004
    Final Documentation
    »IDE India's Journey towards Facilitation in Irrigation Technology, 2005
    Synthesis Documents
    »IDE PRISM Guidelines and Manual - Linking rural poor to markets & irrigation technology, 2005