The research program will provide strategic inputs to strengthen the institutional and infrastructure base that is necessary to help increase the competitiveness of smallholders in rural areas in the production and marketing of their products.
The analysis will address the following three dimensions:
- the heterogeneity of small farmers,
- the impact that complementary investments in rural institutions and infrastructure (capital intensive and post-harvest technologies) may have in market development and poverty reduction, and
- the level of market accessibility
The work under this program addresses a range of policy issues related to infrastructure and institutions and their role in linking smallholders to markets, always recognizing the heterogeneity among smallholders. The research is based on quantitative and qualitative individual, household, and community level – and when possible panel – data. The potential to replicate findings in one country to other developing countries is also assessed. Another important aspect of the program’s work includes an impact evaluation framework for each country project implemented. The work is undertaken in partnership with local institutions, and includes a suite of capacity strengthening and communication work with research collaborators, policymakers, and technical personnel in government research institutions that are influential in policy discussions.