Making vegetable markets work for smallholders in Myanmar
This case study (PDF), developed under the initiative of the Seas of Change by Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and Reuver+Co Communication Design, discusses challenges and lessons learned from the ‘Making Vegetable Markets Work for the Poor’ Program. This program focuses on improving the vegetable market chain throughout Myanmar and the income of smallholder farmers by utilizing the market systems development approach. The case study explores the collaboration between East–West Seed Myanmar and Mercy Corps. The challenges include the tough investment climate in Myanmar, and the infancy state of both the seed sector and the vegetable sector. One of the lessons learned from the partnership is that it is essential for donors to take a critical look at the duration of projects and their objectives in terms of achieving sustainable systemic change. Donors need to consider that it takes time to set up partnerships and to go through several crop cycles. The case study also shows that in the case of Myanmar’s domestic vegetable chain the duty to provide knowledge and new technology falls on the shoulder of the companies in form of embedded or after-sales service. However, the question of who should be paying for this remains. The “cosharing” approach described in this case study is a good example of how to share the burden between public and private sector actors, both for extension services and input supply.