Increasing access to product market

Improved market access will generate overall economic gains to developing countries, on the general principle that trade liberalisation is economically beneficial. There may be short- and medium-term adjustment costs however, with some producers losing to increased import competition. Consumers will gain from lower prices and increased choice.
Small farmers are vulnerable from competition with large scale agriculture. Policies and structures also often favour large competitors. Enabling small producers to organize their own marketing, by providing improved access to markets, can be be a profitable approach.
The Association of Rural Development in Belgium enables self-supporting local initiatives of small farmers who co-operate in commercialization of their products. Farmers sell directly to consumers on their farms and at farmers' markets. Selling prices are discussed before each market; consumers and farmers set the prices so that the farmers' costs and labour are paid and consumers can save about 20 percent over store prices. This successful approach provides a real alternative to a large-scale agriculture policy.

The private sector can also play the important role of helping to find markets for village products. The Cigarette Company Farmers Programme sponsored by the Cigarette Company of Jamaica Ltd aimed both to put idle land into commission and initiate the production of an exportable crop using the company's marketing arrangements. The quantity and the price of the crop were negotiated and made firm in advance for the season. A sizeable proportion of the population of 30,000 were involved with the project. The accomplishments claimed are improved living standards, earnings, and employment to unemployed, and unskilled people who learned farming methods through technical training.

1. Priority should normally be given to local and regional markets in preference to the more difficult and capricious export markets. However, opportunities for exports do give a poor local community access to affluent markets.

2. Economic gains are likely to increase progressively with the degree of market access achieved. There are adjustment costs to be borne with liberalisation, as protected and inefficient producers lose market share. The environmental effects will vary with changes in the composition of production, changes in technology, and the regulatory measures that are in place. In some sectors where production increases as a result of liberalisation, the negative impact on environmental resources could increase, whereas in industries which face increased competition and loss of market share, the environmental stress on the national economy may be reduced.

Commerce Market
Industry Products
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production