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Devaux (2014) The Participatory Market Chain Approach: from the Andes to Africa and Asia

  • This paper highlights experiences with the Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) in fostering pro-poor innovation in agricultural market chains. This approach, originally developed to improve the competitiveness and livelihoods of small-scale potato producers in Peru has also proven to be useful in other market chains worldwide.
  • The PMCA is a flexible approach that engages smallholder farmers, market agents, researchers, and service providers in setting priorities and jointly developing innovations in marketing and processing agricultural products. In Peru, a combination of market-chain innovation, policy change and public awareness has contributed to improving the image and demand for native potatoes, now recognized as a nutritious Peruvian delicacy. Consequently, there has been a dramatic expansion of the volume of native potatoes sold as well as higher farm-gate prices. In Indonesia, drawing on the PMCA and on an extension approach known as “Farmer Field School,” a new approach called the “Farmer Business School” was developed for strengthening the entrepreneurial and business development capacities of farmers and their organizations. In all the cases examined, the PMCA stimulated innovation processes in agricultural market chains that continued long after the initial intervention was completed.
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