We work to reduce poverty in Nepal by improving the way rural markets works. We bring changes in the market systems in such a way that small farmers and entrepreneurs can benefit from it, not only while the programme lasts but even after it ends.
How will you improve the way markets work?
After careful examination of a product or service market, we try to understand the reasons why a market is not benefiting the poor. Then we plan interventions to deal with the problems. The intervention could be about providing information on the market potential, building capacity of the businesses active in the market or stimulating demand, so that the market functions better and the farmers get better products and services.
How will the programme benefit the poor even after the programme ends?
Instead of providing the necessary but missing products or services to the poor farmers directly, which can cause dependency in the farmers and undermine businesses involved in the market, we work with businesses already active in the market so that even when the programme ends, these businesses will continue to perform differently and small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs will continue to benefit.
Tell me about your approach?
We follow an approach called Making Markets work for the Poor approach or M4P approach. This approach:
- Analyses a market system and focuses on causes rather than symptoms of underperformance in the market systems
- In order to bring about changes that are permanent and has the potential to reach more and more people over time, the programme following this approach works as a facilitator to initiate or catalyze the change in the market system rather than as a direct deliverer
What do you mean by market system change?
When a system has gone through 4 stages of change – adopt, adapt, expand and respond – we say that the market system has changed:
- Adopt – The company that we partner with, adopts our business advice / business model
- Adapt – The company functions without the support of the programme and expands its business to reach more people
- Expand – Other companies involved in the same market see the value of the new model and start working in the same way
- Respond – The supporting business start providing services and the government brings new rules and policies to support the new model
How does changing a market system lead to poverty reduction?
New products and services will be available to the smallholder farmers and small-scale entrepreneurs which will increase their productivity and ultimately increase their income.
How do you select the sectors?
We select the sectors based on:
- How relevant the sector is to the poor and the disadvantaged – the number of poor people involved in the sector
- How much potential there is to increase the productivity of the poor
- How feasible it is to intervene in the sector
How many sectors are you working in?
Currently, we are working in 10 sectors: pig, fish, dairy, livestock feed, ginger, vegetable, crop protection,mechanization, media and tourism.
Who do you define as smallholder farmers and small scale entrepreneurs?
Any farmer or entrepreneur living onless than $2.5 per-day per-household is defined as a smallholder farmer or small-scale entrepreneur.
By how much do you aim to increase the income each farmer or entrepreneur?
We aim to increase the income of the beneficiary by £80 per year.
Do you incorporate the gender and social aspects in your programme?
Gender and social inclusion is a central part of our programme. We select rural markets on the basis of the potential to benefit disadvantaged groups and women.
How do you know that you are reducing poverty?
We have a Results Management System which is an integral part of project planning and allows efficient management of interventions. The system monitors and measures results, in order to both prove impact on the poor and improve performance of the programme.