Pathways to Commercialisation

Onions on sale in a MarketThis theme examines the question of how to raise productivity in the agricultural sector, and how smallholder farmers can participate in markets and improve livelihoods. Recognising that the liberalisation orthodoxy focusing on markets has not worked (or at least only partially), we focus on institutional questions, particularly in conditions where markets are weak, thin and interlocking.

Questions we are pursuing include:

  • What pathways to which types of commercialisation are open to smallholder producers?
  • What market and institutional innovation in supply chains might help smallholder producers?
  • How do labour markets and institutions affect agricultural growth and poverty reduction?
  • How can coordination failures in finance, input and output supply be remedied?
  • How can agri-business be developed and regulated?

Latest articles

Village studies: insights and policy implications
Village studies: insights and policy implications
June 1, 2012 / Pathways to Commercialisation
From our village studies in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania, five key overall results are emerging. These have led us to identify some emerging lessons for policy makers who have a role in promoting commercialisation in these countries.

Can smallholders still deliver development in rural Africa?
June 1, 2012 / Pathways to Commercialisation
While small farmer development has been critical in African development in the past — for example, in the cases of cocoa farmers in southern Ghana in the late 19th Century, coffee smallholders in Kenya in the 1950s and 1960s, or

Commercialisation research updates: Tanzania and Ethiopia
Commercialisation research updates: Tanzania and Ethiopia
April 18, 2012 / Pathways to Commercialisation
Two research updates have been published from the Commercialisation theme. They provide an update on our case studies in Tanzania and Ethiopia, examining how small farmers have been able to take opportunities to commercialise under different conditions.

Markets and productivity are thought to be vital to African Green Revolution
Markets and productivity are thought to be vital to African Green Revolution
November 14, 2011 / Pathways to Commercialisation
By Dr Samuel Gebreselassie Two international conferences held recently in Addis Ababa emphasised that markets and agricultural productivity are key in lifting Africa’s small farmers out of poverty by sustaining and accelerating the growth in Africa observed over the past

Supermarkets and Standards
Supermarkets and Standards
January 22, 2010 / Pathways to Commercialisation
The changing structure of the global agri-food system – and the role of supermarkets and standards in particular - is increasingly having an impact on small scale farming in the developing world. Supermarkets – and their intermediary buyers – need

Agricultural Commercialisation Theme Overview
Agricultural Commercialisation Theme Overview
January 22, 2010 / Pathways to Commercialisation
A large literature exists on commercialisation — broadly defined as having greater engagement with markets, either for inputs, outputs, or both — of small, family farms.

Agricultural Commercialisation
April 16, 2008 / Pathways to Commercialisation
This theme examines the question of how to raise productivity in the agricultural sector, and how smallholder farmers can participate in markets and improve livelihoods. Recognising that the liberalisation orthodoxy focusing on markets has not worked (or at least only