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A. Who the Guide is for?
B. The Development Process
C. Key Issues
D. Summary of the Market Planning Process Described in the Guide
E. Further Reading

The critical stage of the market development process is at the beginning and this is when decision makers and market users should be fully involved. This chapter describes the process:

A. Who the Guide is for?

The purpose of this guide is to assist decision-makers to judge whether market infrastructure investments should be made or not and to guide them through the first steps of the design process in initiating a market infrastructure development programme. The potential users of the guide include:

The Client and User: The decision-making organizations and individuals listed above are effectively the “client” for the development. They are not generally the real “users” of the facilities. However, these users must have an equally important role in the development of an appropriate planning strategy and the consequent design brief. The participation of traders and farmers in the process is critical. This issue, and the subject of potential conflicts between decision makers in different organizations and the coordination required, are further considered in later chapters.

Scope of the Guide: Although infrastructure is generally defined as constructed buildings and civil works, the guide does not confine itself exclusively to these activities. Often, market development will include: equipping or re-equipping a market; improving transport facilities; institutional restructuring, including reducing or reallocating staff; a system for the management of market facilities and information; providing training to market staff and to farmers’ groups; introducing quality control standards; and properly enforcing market regulations.

Stages in the development process

i) inception - the identification of problems and needs

ii) surveys and development of the design brief (space and accommodation requirements) with the market users

iii) outline proposals and pre-feasibility studies to evaluate options, redesign and modify the design brief

iv) overall scheme design, detailed evaluation and feasibility studies, and decision to proceed with the project

v) final studies and detailed infrastructure design

vi) production information (bills of quantities, specifications and contract documents)

vii) tendering process (selection of tenders, tender, review and appointment)

viii) implementation - construction of infrastructure and procurement of equipment

ix) monitoring and feedback, to provide information for future planning

B. The Development Process

Any development project goes through a number of distinct stages (see Box 1). This guide broadly covers stages i) to iii), which comprise the critical period from the initial idea of a potential market development through to the preliminary feasibility studies which will be used to determine the direction the project ought to be taking and the decision to proceed to stage iv). Decision makers are not likely to get involved in detailed calculations. They will give the approval to a proposal prepared by technicians. Therefore, decision makers need guidance on the correct preliminary steps. If this process is not followed in a rational sequence then there is a high risk that the development will not be socially or economically viable.

The critical time in the design process is that between the idea for a market development and detailed feasibility studies. This is when the decision makers need to be sufficiently well briefed to be able to:

C. Key Issues

The guide defines an overall approach for analysing market development and provides simplified planning procedures to help decision makers to define what they want. It provides a basis for developing a new market to replace an existing market or for rehabilitating an existing one. The key issues that need to be considered in deciding whether to proceed with a market infrastructure investment are:

This guide attempts to demonstrate the clear linkages between agricultural and urban development policies, market-infrastructure planning, economic viability, market management and the role of the various involved parties. If a market development is to be both successful and profitable it is essential that there should be a clear understanding of the role of the market users (particularly traders). There may also be a need to make appropriate institutional and legal arrangements (the setting up of a market committee is likely to be a precondition). The linkages between market income, operating expenditure, profits and financial viability need to be clearly defined, as well as the relationship of the market improvements to other development programmes. Overall, there is a need to have a clear approach to defining criteria for screening, prioritising and evaluating market improvements. These basic questions are summarised in Box 2.

Basic questions for developing a clear justification for market infrastructure interventions

  • Has consideration been given to whether the development is really necessary?
  • is it clear why there is a need for a new market?
  • have alternatives been considered, such as improving existing markets by rehabilitating/expanding?
  • has thought been given to the consequences of a new market on the environment?
  • have the implications for traffic and parking space been considered?
  • is there a consensus on the financial and economic rationale for the project? Is it agreed that it should be run on a profit-making or, at least, on a cost-recovery basis, i.e. be “economically sustainable”?
  • what are the traders’, transporters’ and consumers’ reactions to the proposals?
  • is there a possibility or agreement for increasing market user charges? For larger markets, such as urban wholesale and retail markets, further factors may need to be considered:
  • has thought been given to all the accompanying measures which may be required to protect the economic interest of those traders to be relocated to a new market site?
  • why should traders want to move to a new market?
  • will services (e.g. banks) also be willing to move to the new market?
  • has an estimate been made of how much more traders will have to pay to distribute food from the new market back into town?
  • has the involvement of traders and transporters in the operation of the market and its management been agreed?

Finally, are the next steps on how to proceed with the market development clear?

D. Summary of the Market Planning Process Described in the Guide

The approach to planning and developing market infrastructure as described in the guide is as follows :

E. Further Reading

The Guide should be read in conjunction with other FAO publications on wholesale and retail marketing, planning and management (see Appendix E -List of Further Reading on Marketing Infrastructure).

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