This Guide is one of a series of agroenterprise publications developed by CIAT’s Rural Agroenterprise Development project. The aim of this set of methods and tools is to enable service providers to empower rural communities to engage more effectively in the marketplace so as to increase their income, their capacity to innovate and ultimately improve their livelihood options.
The central figure in this Guide is the “market facilitator”, whose role is to identify market opportunities with representatives from farmer groups and guide the groups through a process of market analysis and business planning to develop a new agroenterprise. The Guide advises on issues such as project site selection, partnership development, community involvement, participatory tools for market opportunity identification, enterprise selection, and methods for agroenterprise design and development.
Service providers should read the guides in their entirety, to absorb the ideas and concepts prior to starting the fieldwork. Our experience has shown that best results are attained when these processes are not implemented in a mechanical manner; rather that the principles are interpreted and adapted to local conditions based on the marketing environment, available resources, and anticipated scale of implementation.