A guide to upgrading rural agricultural retail markets
This Working Document provides practical guidelines for upgrading agricultural retail markets in rural areas and analyses the strategic potential of upgrading as an important component of rural development. This document presents methodological steps for the design and implementation of appropriate programmes, rather than a single model to replicate. The objective is to propose an inclusive project where women, usually the most vulnerable, play a leading role in the decision-making process and have greater access to upgraded infrastructure and facilities. The Working Document is primarily based on major field experiences in Ethiopia, some minor field experiences in West Africa and in Bangladesh, and from an extensive literature review. Results convey that retail market upgrading is essential for income generation activities, strengthening food security, developing rural market linkages and for mainstreaming gender issues within rural development strategies. Hence, upgrading projects should not only improve the infrastructure, but also need to consider the objectives of poverty alleviation and livelihood improvement in rural areas. The guide is aimed at people working for local government, donor agencies, inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and also for planners, rural development decision-makers and researchers.