Profitable farming for smallholder farmers requires access to affordable fertilizers and other agro-inputs. Many farmers in developing countries struggle to access these inputs at the right time, in the right quantity and quality and at the right price. Many also often lack access to credit.
IFDC has developed a holistic approach to input market development, which is based on five pillars: policy, human capital, finance, market information and regulations. Deficiencies in any pillar can cause poor input sector performance.
Output markets provide the “pull” for input market development. IFDC focuses on developing output markets, mainly for staple crops. Because international markets are often volatile and difficult to access, IFDC stresses the need to consider whether potential national and regional markets are underexploited. IFDC helps farmers identify and access profitable markets, usually through producer organizations, with a focus on information management and by working with all participants in the agricultural value chain.
IFDC also helps farmers, agro-dealers and their organizations develop the skills needed to manage their farms and businesses as enterprises. This allows farmers to participate more in commercial food production, both to meet their families’ food needs and to increase incomes. Agro-dealers are trained to introduce new technologies and to teach their farmer customers how to correctly use inputs.
Market Development Topics