Making markets work for the poor
Practical Action South Asia
Small scale producers and processors survive with extreme difficulty amidst the forces of globalisation and the resulting competitive environment that is unfavourable to them. Some of the more common issues faced by small producers are the lack of access to markets, limiting factors to maintain sustainable relationships with markets, lack of technical assistance to develop and diversify products, lack of government incentives (such as low interest credit and tax concessions), and the lack of professionalism.
The aim theme - making markets work for poor aims to enable poor women and men to use technologies effectively in systems of production, processing and marketing to build secure livelihoods. In this regard, it works in close relation with the small scale producers, processors and small and medium enterprises in South Asia, so that these communities are able to secure livelihoods and food security in an enabling environment.
However, disasters like tsunami and the South-Asian earthquake slightly changed the focus of this programme to incorporate the disaster context too as when resource poor people are affected by hazards their overall livelihoods get destroyed. This is because these resource scarce communities, in an effort to live and cope with various hazards make risk management a part of their daily life. Therefore, the aim theme, in its work in the sectors of fisheries, rebuilding livelihoods of the tsunami affected, community driven sustainable development, information and research and organic agriculture, apply the disaster resistant sustainable livelihood approach. The Disaster Resistant Sustainable Livelihood (DRSL) approach adopted by Practical Action focuses on making livelihoods resistant to disasters by creating opportunities, and understanding markets.