Strong, inclusive market access and economic opportunity are essential in reducing poverty and ensuring food security for millions of smallholder producers around the world. IFPRI’s Markets, Trade and Institutions Division (MTID) provides innovative, evidence-based policy solutions to help increase access to markets and improve market functioning, improve smallholders’ economic wellbeing, reduce poverty, and ensure food security worldwide. MTID analyzes existing economic conditions to identify policies that can improve institutions, promote market efficiency, reduce transaction costs for producers and consumers, and help smallholder farmers achieve better access to markets.
Our research focuses on a range of micro- and macro-level topics, including:
- making market participation more beneficial for smallholders by offering guidance on how to manage risk, build social capital, enable collective action, foster partnerships between smallholders and the private sector through contract farming, and redress missing markets;
- reforming trade policy to remove barriers to trade and minimize the negative impact of market shocks on countries with vulnerable growing economies;
- monitoring and analyzing global, regional, and local food price movements to increase farmers' and countries' resilience to shocks;
- designing agricultural policies that achieve domestic goals (for example, smallholder support) while limiting negative externalities for foreign countries and agents;
- improving access to and efficiency of markets and agricultural value chains so that the food system is capable of providing more nutritious and safe food for the poor, especially women and young children; and;
- analyzing and identifying ways to optimize investments in infrastructure such as roads, electrification, ICTs, water, sanitation, and education that can help improve access to markets and, as a result, boost incomes, nutrition and health outcomes.
This work contributes directly to the implementation of cutting-edge programs, policies, and investments, spanning many sectors and helping governments address both current and future challenges in improving markts, reducing poverty, assuring food security, and improving rural livelihoods. In addition, our cross-cutting gender theme takes into account the unique challenges and opportunities faced by smallholder women.