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تعزيز المؤسسات الريفية
©FAO/Giulio Napolitano/Malawi

Improving livelihoods through pluralistic services and institution-building

The Rural Institutions, Services and Empowerment (RISE) team recognizes the plurality of service providers, public and private, that cater to the diverse needs and demands of small producers and their organizations.

Pluralistic service systems (PSS) – in which a wide range of services are provided by different actors and funding sources – have the potential to make services more inclusive, demand responsive and market-oriented.

The triple functions of Producer Organizations in Pluralistic market-oriented services (PMOS):

  • Providing services - Rural Advisory services, credit, mechanization, postharvest handling, storage, branding,… 

  • Consolidation - Aggregation of produce, bulk purchase, pooling resources, accumulation of assets and infrastructure

  • Advocacy and representation – lobbying, policy dialogue, articulating demand, negotiation

Upcoming Publications

Generating the Enabling Environment for Pluralistic Market-Oriented Services: An Analytical Framework 

The MOS framework developed by FAO will enhance rural services, especially for smallholder farmers, so that they may better access markets, thereby also contributing to the rural development agenda. The framework defines service provision as a dynamic interaction between public, private and civil society actors in diverse contexts. It will explore opportunities for generating the enabling environment for inclusive service provision to smallholder farmers through an appreciation of different contextual factors.

An Analysis of the Institutional and Policy Environment of the Extension and Advisory Service System in Malawi

The paper analyzes the extent to which EAS policies in Malawi are able to effectively respond to the country's democratization process, market liberalization, decentralization and shrinking public resources. The study unpacks the complexity of the institutional and policy environment of pluralistic advisory and extension service systems and highlights its impact on system performance. Key findings note that beyond the funding constraints, which limit public involvement in EAS systems, the supply-driven approach adversely impacts EAS operational delivery options. A food security focus on producing hybrid seeds may hinder on-farm diversification efforts and limits the time spent supporting farmers with access to markets.