Integrating Extremely Poor Producers into Markets Field Guide, Third Edition

  • Date Posted: April 18, 2014
  • Authors: Dan Norell, Margie Brand
  • Document Types: Tool, Other, Case Study or Vignette
  • Donor Type: Non-US Government Agency

The Integrating Extremely Poor Producers into Markets Field Guide (Field Guide) is intended to provide the field-level practitioner with tools and applications to impact extremely poor households. The intended outcome of the Field Guide is to increase market engagement for extremely poor households, especially women, through enterprise development activities.

Market systems development methodologies have been used widely in enterprise and market development. Donors such as USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID, GIZ and AusAID have supported this work. For development organizations, market systems development tools have been helpful, but many of the tools have not been specifically designed to support or benefit extremely poor producers.

The Third Edition shifts the focus of the Field Guide to helping extremely poor producers; it also contains new information on market systems and on the use of village agents to improve
producers’ access to inputs. Please note that previous editions of this document were named Integrating Very Poor Producers into Value Chains Field Guide.

The Pocket Guide is a complementary publication that summarizes key points from the Field Guide in a compact, user-friendly format. It is available in English and French.   

These publications were prepared by Dan Norell and Margie Brand for World Vision through the FHI 360-managed FIELD-Support LWA. Find out more about the FIELD-Support LWA below, and read about the title below and access the article about the project here.

Field Guide Table of Contents

This table of contents describes each Field Guide section and provides links to PDF files of the section. The practitioner worksheets for each section are listed under the section titles. Click on a worksheet title to download a Microsoft Word file of the worksheet that you can easily fill in electronically or print and use in the field.


The Introduction provides an overview of the content and structure of the Field Guide and explains where in the cycle of market system development the guide applies.

I. Understanding Extremely Poor Producers

This section describes the characteristics and constraints of extremely poor producers that limit their ability to participate in markets and the additional constraints that female producers face.

II. The Market Systems (Value Chain) Approach

This section provides an overview of the market systems approach to economic development and the importance of strengthening food security for extremely poor households.

III. Linking Extremely Poor Producers to Buyers and Suppliers

A. Buyer and Supplier Linkages for the Extremely Poor

This sub-section explains the benefits of linking extremely poor producers with buyers and suppliers and describes the types of linkages and contracting arrangements that are most suitable for these producers.



B. Factors Impacting Buyer and Supplier Linkages
This sub-section describes the three key factors of successful relationships between extremely poor producers and their buyers and suppliers, (win-win relationships, trust, and information flow), and provides guidelines and worksheets for facilitating and enhancing each of these factors.


IV. Linking Extremely Poor Producers to Other Producers

A. Producer-to-Producer Linkages

Joining together in producer groups helps extremely poor producers overcome barriers to market entry. This sub-section gives practical examples of the benefits of relationships between extremely poor producers and worksheets for leveraging these benefits. It also explains the advantages and limitations of different types of producer-to-producer relationships and provides a worksheet for assessing them.



B. Factors Impacting Producer-to-Producer Linkages

This sub-section explains six factors that affect the success of producer-producer relationships, (including limited ability to take on risk, lack of confidence, and the exclusion of women), and provides tools and worksheets for assessing and facilitating each of these factors.



V. Other Analyses and Opportunities

This section explains the use of Gross Margin Analysis and describes the benefits of and considerations for organic and fair trade certification.

Case Studies (Annex B)

The case studies are examples of how Field Guide recommendations and tools have been applied in market systems development projects around the world. Each case study describes project components and lessons learned.
This project was conducted from 2008-2012 among poor communities in the Lake Victoria Region of Kenya, where many households are headed by girls and young women aged 14-24 years. The project helped girls in this age range to start and manage small businesses in the poultry and vegetable markets.
This case study describes a two-day national Cocoa Summit in Sierra Leone that addressed cocoa producers’ constraints and opportunities and the resulting recommendations and action plans. The Cocoa Summit was attended by small-holder farmers and sponsored by the Promoting Agriculture, Governance and the Environment (PAGE) project of Sierra Leone.
This case study describes activities of the HAITI Multi-Year Assistance Programme of World Vision-Haiti that helped to link extremely poor producers to markets. Activities included support for setting up a mango collection system; training for producers to give them access to fair trade and organic markets; activities to increase the number and productivity of mango trees; and contracts between producers and exporters.
This case study describes the Productive Safety Net Programme Plus (PSNP Plus) in Ethiopia. PSNP Plus helps food insecure households gain access to financial services, viable markets, clean water and sanitation facilities so they can graduate out of the Ethiopian Government’s safety net program. The PSNP Plus project in Ethiopia organized 1,747 production marketing groups among extremely poor households and provided training on leadership and business skills as well as production technologies.

5. ProRENDA: Working with Producer Groups in Post-Conflict Angola
The ProRENDA Project helped smallholder farmers in the potato, onion, bean and carrot value chains improve their understanding of effective processing practices, linked the farmers to buyers and major markets, and trained producer groups in business planning and management. The project also helped increase participation of women and youth in value chains.
This project helped vegetable growers from rural households affected by the category 4 cyclone Sidr. Project staff helped form producer groups and linked the vegetable growers with the government agricultural extension office, which provided seeds, fertilizers and technology training.

Other Tools (Annexes A, C and D)


Useful Online Resources



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