• Identifying Market Opportunities for Rural Smallholder Producers to support agencies implementing a participatory approach to rural agroenterprise development

    This guide is the third in a series from CIAT designed to support agencies implementing a participatory approach to rural agroenterprise development.

  • Transforming Gender Relations Through the Market: Smallholder Milk Market Participation and Women's Intra-household Bargaining Power in Ethiopia

    Dairy in Ethiopia was traditionally a woman's industry and male involvement was considered taboo. Increases in the use of contracting to enter formal markets required the participation of the usually male head of household. Using a quasi-expiriment and propensity-score matching, the authors find that income is higher for smallholder milk market participants and men control more of the income compared with non-market participants

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Improving diets and nutrition through an integrated poultry value chain and nutrition intervention (SELEVER) in Burkina Faso: study protocol for a randomized trial


The SELEVER study is designed to evaluate the impact of an integrated agriculture–nutrition package of interventions (including poultry value chain development, women’s empowerment activities, and a behavior change communications strategy to promote improved diets and feeding, care, and hygiene practices) on the diets, health, and nutritional status of women and children in Burkina Faso. This paper presents the rationale and study design.


The impact evaluation involves a cluster randomized controlled trial design that will be implemented in 120 rural communities/villages within 60 communes supported by SELEVER in the Boucle de Mouhoun, Centre-Ouest, and Haut-Bassins regions of Burkina Faso. Communities will be randomly assigned to one of three treatment arms, including: (1) SELEVER intervention group; (2) SELEVER with an intensive WASH component; and (3) control group without intervention. Primary outcomes include the mean probability of adequacy of diets for women and children (aged 2–4 years at baseline), infant and young child feeding practices of caregivers of children aged 0–2 years, and household poultry production and sales. Intermediate outcomes along the agriculture and nutrition pathways will also be measured, including child nutrition status and development. The evaluation will follow a mixed-methods approach, including a panel of child-, household-, community-, and market-level surveys, and data collection points during post-harvest and lean seasons, as well as one year after implementation completion to examine sustainability.


To our knowledge, this study is the first to rigorously examine from a food systems perspective, the simultaneous impact of scaling-up nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions through a livestock value-chain and community-intervention platform, across nutrition, health, and agriculture domains. The findings of this evaluation will provide evidence to support the design of market-based nutrition-sensitive interventions.

You can read the full paper here:https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-017-2156-4

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Formal versus informal: Efficiency, inclusiveness and financing of dairy value chains in Indian Punjab

This papaer highlights that 1) Both formal and informal value chains coexist in the dairy sector of Indian Punjab, but formal value chains are prominent, 2) Resource-rich farmers partner with formal value chains; and smallholders are more dependent on informal chains,  3) Farmers in the cooperative value chains earn more profit per unit of output, and 4) Chain-based financing is limited to informal value chains., and the external financing by commercial banks or other such institutions is limited and biased towards resource-rich farmers.

Here is an abstract of the paper:

Using a unique set of household-level data from the Indian state of Punjab, this paper assesses the performance and financing of dairy value chains at their upstream. We find co-existence of formal value chains driven by dairy cooperatives and private processors including multinationals and informal value chains driven by vendors or local traders and consumer-households. The resource-rich dairy farmers prefer partnerships with private dairy processors or vice versa. The small dairy farmers are more dependent on informal channels for the sale of their produce. Although, there is no significant difference in milk yield across herd sizes and value chains, the farmers associated with cooperative value chain earn more profit. The findings also indicate the practice of scale-based price discrimination in the formal segment, especially by the multinationals. Further, more than half of the dairy farmers finance their dairying activities borrowing from the formal as well as informal sources. The chain-based financing is restricted to the value chains driven by the local traders and private domestic processors. The financing by commercial banks is limited and is biased in favour of resource-rich dairy farmers.

-photo credit:Michael Foley

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Lundy, Mark

Mark Lundy is a Researcher at CIAT, in Cali, Colombia.

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