Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Driving Innovation to Scale in Agriculture Market Systems

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This blog entry was cross-posted from Agrilinks.

In the upcoming weeks, Agrilinks will be working with the USAID LEO (Leveraging Economic Opportunities) project to cross-post brownbag sessions on various economic interventions within the Feed the Future initiative. We hope you read, share, and comment on these presentations and take the time to discover the great in-depth research coming out of USAID.

Woman farming riceThere is growing recognition of the need to scale up agricultural development and, within the Feed the Future initiative, there is a great deal of interest in achieving strong, positive results at scale. To focus on scaling up in market systems, USAID’s Bureau for Food Security has launched a brownbag series, in partnership with the Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) project. In the first presentation of the series, Elizabeth Dunn, a renowned research economist specializing in market-based solutions to poverty, presented on the role of agricultural market systems in driving innovations to scale.

Some of the facilitation strategies that are used in value chain or market development activities also contribute to achieving scale by reaching farmers as secondary contacts through other firms in the value chain and by amplifying demonstration effects at multiple levels. Effective facilitation can trigger systemic change as firms replicate the investments they see made by their competitors, and adapt these innovations in the marketplace.

Success in scaling up inclusive agricultural growth requires innovations at multiple levels. Not only is there a need to scale up the adoption of more productive agricultural technologies, but new business models are also needed to ensure that growth opportunities are inclusive of the poor.

In this video interview, Jeanne Downing, Senior Enterprise Development Advisor, Bureau of Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3), poses questions to Dr. Dunn on the role of markets in bringing innovations to scale. The full seminar presentation and speaker’s notes can also be found below. For more information on the LEO program please visit www.acdivoca.org/leo.