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Moving Together to the Market: The Clustering Approach to Agroenterprise Development for Small Farmers

Moving Together to the Market: The Clustering Approach to Agroenterprise Development for Small Farmers   

Smallholder farmers can improve their livelihoods by better understanding their market opportunities. Moving Together to the Market is a step-by-step guide to help extension workers train farmers in agroenterprise skills.

The guide describes how extension workers can help farmers to form clusters and engage with markets. It includes eight tool kits that extension workers can use to guide farmers through the process.

Download the manual (PDF, 4.7 MB)

Download the tool kits:

  1. Partnership building, site selection and cluster formation (ZIP, 4 MB)
  2. Product selection and supply assessment (ZIP, 1.7 MB)
  3. Market chain study (ZIP, 1.8 MB)
  4. Cluster commitment-setting (ZIP, 1.2 MB)
  5. Agroenterprise plan and mobilization (ZIP, 1 MB)
  6. Product supply organizing (ZIP, 64 KB)
  7. Test marketing (ZIP, 1.8 MB)
  8. Sustained enterprises (ZIP, 488 KB)

Who should use this guide

This guide is intended for field facilitators of institutions that provide market-based assistance to farmers to help them earn higher incomes.

These facilitators, known as the Facilitator Team, work directly with farmers to carry out the Agroenterprise Clustering Approach.

How to use this guide

This guide has two parts

  • Part I provides an introduction to agroenterprise and describes the eight-step Agroenterprise Clustering Approach that guides facilitators in assisting farmers to engage with markets.
  • Part II gives facilitators the tools to carry out each step’s activities with farmers, engaging them to participate and learn throughout. Each tool kit guides users through either an exercise or a meeting. Each tool kit explains the intended users, the tool kit description, expected outputs, preparation and materials needed, time for carrying it out and the suggested process. Some of the tool kits also give examples.

Facilitators are encouraged to read Part I in order to understand the principles of the eight-step Agroenterprise Clustering Approach. Facilitators should continually refer to the tools in Part II in order to better understand the practical applications. It is important that facilitators practice using the tools with other facilitators before applying them directly with farmers in the field.

Eight steps in the Agroenterprise Clustering Approach

The Agroenterprise Clustering Approach is organized as a sequence of eight steps that farmers go through in a “learning by doing” manner. In carrying out each activities, the facilitator should actively involve farmers in every step, always keeping in mind the following things:

  • The facilitator’s role is not to do the actual marketing, but to teach the farmers how to do it themselves.
  • Farmers who learn the agroenterprise process as they go through the eight-step Agroenterprise Clustering Approach will be able to use this approach on their own after one or two cropping seasons. This is the ultimate measure of success and sustainability of the eight-step Agroenterprise Clustering Approach.

Flexibility is important

We advise the facilitator to conduct all eight steps during the first production cycle/ season. It is important to note, however, that in the course of agroenterprise development work with farmers, facilitators will often encounter situations that require adaptation of certain activities. Therefore, we encourage you to be flexible in conducting the activities under each step according to the needs, capacities and resources of the farmers and the development institutions supporting them.

Publication details

Authors: Joan Anna Cua Uy, Anna May Dumapis, Fr. Rene Tacastacas, Dominador Mariano
Publisher: Catholic Relief Services (August 2014)
Manual: 206 pages
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-971-93973-2-8
Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches

Posted on August 27, 2014

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