Market demand and agribusiness clusters are considered to be important vehicles for poverty reduction, attaining food security and creating rural wealth. The focus tends to be on high-end markets & international trade. However, for most smallholder producers, local entrepreneurs and poor consumers, rural economies and the dynamics of rural fresh produce markets & local trade are far more important!
Catalysing vibrant rural economies
Making markets work for local communities
The course is aimed at catalysing vibrant rural economies. It focuses on the changing roles of rural policies and services in sub-Saharan Africa. It introduces the participants to a set of five typical interventions that, on their own or in combination, are designed to boost local market demand, add value, smoothen rural trade and increase local economic activities generating income and employment. In this course each type of intervention will be illustrated with real-life cases that are presented by the ‘case owners’ themselves. This will assist to better appreciate the rigidity of reality. The course is highly interactive and builds on the participant’s own experiences and personal cases. These will serve as building blocks for ‘bankable’ project that will be developed during the course. The programme offers a balanced ‘diet’ including introductions to concepts, practices, participatory group work, guest lectures, case study presentations and excursions.
Upon completion of the course you will:
- have a good understanding of conceptual frameworks to identify development opportunities for rural communities and spin-offs for rural wealth creation;
- be able to appreciate the linkages between poverty and livelihood strategies, the role of agribusiness development and effective services delivery, and the potential of rural markets, local trade and value chains to ‘work for the poor’;
- be able to facilitate participatory approaches and methodologies for innovation and change processes;
- be able to apply tools and instruments for strategic and effective interventions catalysing processes that boost rural economies.
This regional course is designed for mid-career professionals of government departments, non-governmental and civil society organisations, business associations, development agencies, universities and colleges for higher education, and for other professionals working in the domain of market-driven local economic development. Proficiency in English is required.