Traditional Markets for Poverty Reduction and Food Security: Exploring Policy Options in Honduras and Nicaragua

By CIAT, April 2016.

"Key Messages:

  • Much of the current research on value chains and market linkages focuses on formal markets, such as supermarkets, while less attention is given to traditional markets. This tendency leads to a bias in the design of policy interventions that benefit the formal private sector, while the lives of many smallholders, processors, traders, and poor consumers could be improved by researching their needs and implementing appropriate, actor-tailored market policies.
  • In both Honduras and Nicaragua, traditional markets (i.e., wholesalers, retailers, and farmers’ markets) play a major role in the distribution of agricultural products to the consumer, especially for those consumers with limited purchasing power.
  • The competitiveness of businesses in traditional markets for basic grains, vegetables, and cheeses in Honduras and Nicaragua is negatively affected by poor food safety, post-harvest losses, seasonal price fluctuations, and a reduction of sales. These factors lead to a contraction in demand and may force poor consumers to purchase their goods in more expensive markets, thereby reducing their food security.
  • Public policies on health and safety regulations in traditional markets should be introduced or reinforced to improve product quality and food safety, and to stimulate efficient production, processing, sorting, transport, and storage practices, while taking into account the different needs of each group of value chain actors linked to the traditional markets of Honduras and Nicaragua.
  • The establishment of a collective action platform convening key stakeholders from traditional markets and the public sector could help jointly identify solutions to specific bottlenecks along the supply chain, inform, and ultimately influence public policy and decision making, with the goal of delivering improved food security and livelihoods for both smallholder farmers and poor urban consumers."

Read the complete research here

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