Brian Flanagan worked with MEAS (Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services), a USAID-funded project. He is currently the Director of Agriculture Training/Intern Manager at ECHO. Brian worked in Haiti for seven years after completing an ECHO internship in 2003. He has been involved in various community development projects throughout Haiti and other countries.
This ECHO Technical Note, drawn from the MEAS / USAID Brief #4 and Discussion Paper #4 (Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets and the Implications for Extension and Advisory Services), provides an overview of markets, factors to consider when developing projects that link smallholders to trade options, and common approaches to strengthening smallholders’ access to markets.
The expansion of domestic and export markets, along with increased production of high value horticultural products in emerging economies are creating opportunities for smallholder farmers to prosper from, and participate in the market. The goal is to create long-term market linkages for smallholders. Thus, intervention design must take into account the circumstances of the farmer and community dynamics. Projects should focus on linkages that improve food and nutritional security as well as income. To accomplish this, project planners must consider a number of issues before deciding on an approach.