Final Documentation

Developing BDS Markets for Small Farmers in Nepal, IDE, 2004

    To increase the productivity and incomes of small and marginal horticultural producers, this pilot program, funded by USAID's BDS-IGP, evolved into a modified BDS approach appropriate for situations facing weak markets, providing some direct BDS direct training for groups of farmers so they would be ready to start production the first winter season for vegetables.

    The program focused on privatizing services provided by a prior project and expanding market coverage to include smaller, resource-poor farmers, using existing BDS providers and MSEs interested in growing high value vegetables. IDE built provider capacity through intensive training in vegetable production and marketing; promoted increased production of high-value crops (suitable for the land and capital poor, but labor rich family farm environment); and linked farmers with private-sector input and produce sales firms.

    IDE also built the capacity of farmer groups, lead farmers, traders, and agro-vets who provided small farmers with services (often embedded) such as equipment, seeds, technical and marketing information, and links to input/ sales merchants.

    Summary of results
    Essentially, this project focused on integrating the poor into mainstream markets. Women, who comrpised about 45% of participants, reported positive changes in their quality of life, including better family nutrition and education due to increases in vegetable consumption, market sales, and incomes. Some women also noted an increased sense of self-confidence and social status due to the economic independence derived from marketing high value crops.

    The project found market information in rural areas to often be distorted or non-existent and facilitated a more informed, transparent, and competitive marketplace for both BSPs and MSEs through radio and promotion campaigns.

    Realizing early on that rural communities were affected by policy changes at the macro level as well as by existing market structures, IDE worked with national, regional and local organizations to analyze policies and regulations affecting high value agriculture and lobbied government on its micro-irrigation, credit, agriculture extension, and input supply policies.

    Beginning with the simplest of downstream market interventions - orienting farm groups on output marketing and holding workshops where farmers and traders could meet and learn about each others business - produced positive results and led to trial links with agribusinesses.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    »Making BDS Providers Work for Smallholder Farmers in Nepal, IDE, 2004
    Impact Assessment
    »A Model for Pro-Poor Wealth Creation through Small-Plot Irrigation and Integrated Service Provision, IDE India and Nepal 2004