Efficient marketing infrastructure such as wholesale, retail and assembly markets and storage facilities is essential for cost-effective marketing, to minimise post-harvest losses and to reduce health risks. Market infrastructure is required at all stages of the supply chain, from local retail and assembly markets through to wholesale and retail markets in major urban centres.
Governments and local authorities generally have a poor appreciation of the importance of markets and a reluctance to invest in them. As a consequence markets are often congested, unhygienic and inefficient. They are also fire risks. Local authorities frequently see markets as revenue raising opportunities, not as institutions that necessitate investment. Although there have been significant developments with regard to supermarket development and the improvement of farm-to-agroprocessor linkages, the great bulk of food products are still distributed through more traditional channels using traditional market infrastructure.
FAO has for many years concentrated on market infrastructure improvement, both through technical assistance projects with national and provincial governments and local authorities and through the publication of a wide range of guides on the topic.
Our publications include the following:
A guide to upgrading rural agricultural retail markets (Download)
Rural-urban marketing linkages. An infrastructure identification and survey guide (Download)