In sub-Saharan Africa, farmers face real obstacles to the sale of their agricultural products: difficulty accessing markets, low and fluctuating prices, unfavourable power relations and more.
In response, some assertions come up repeatedly: “We need a truck to transport products to where prices are better; equipment to process the products and to sell more“; “We need storehouses and working capital to buy members’ products“; “Proper marketing requires a well-organised value chain, and market information systems; “Farmers just have to organise to become stronger, we must create an interprofessional body; “It is just a question of controlling imports”; Are these, apparently obvious, “We only need to …”, “We have to …” statements always suited to local operating realities, or useful enough to ensure that farmers can improve the marketing of their agricultural products?
Through analysis of case studies, this paper examines some of these “solutions” that sometimes penalise dialogue and local dynamics. Beliefs, recommendations or open questions then emerge in an effort to support farmers and their organisations.
This very valuable document is the result of a long process (2004 to 2008) of collective thinking conducted within the Working Group “Market access and agricultural product marketing “, which was hosted by Inter-réseaux with hundreds of participants from sub-Saharan Africa. The reader is given a summary of different ways to improve market access and a critical analysis of the process of exchanging experiences and the accompanying aids. The text is an invitation to overcome certain prejudices or simplifications and to adopt analytical approaches and build suitable solutions.
The text also illustrates the originality of Inter-réseaux’s approach: a long collective reflection drawing on real experiences, whereby participants from different backgrounds interact through a facilitated process to overcome barriers and misconceptions in countries of the Global South and North.
Download the full version : Market Access and Agricultural Product Marketing : Promoting Farmer Initiatives (Full version)
Download the overview : Overview : Market Access and Agricultural Product Marketing : Promoting Farmer Initiatives
Download the introduction : Introduction : Market Access and Agricultural Product Marketing : Promoting Farmer Initiatives
Download the chapter 2 : Chapter 2 : Individual and collective activities by farmers: comparison sheets
Download the chapter 3 : Chapter 3 : Insights from the participatory analysis of local initiatives
Download the conclusion : Conclusion : Market Access and Agricultural Product Marketing : Promoting Farmer Initiatives
Download the appendix : Appendix : Market Access and Agricultural Product Marketing : Promoting Farmer Initiatives