The Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA): From the Andes to Africa and Asia.
The PMCA is a flexible approach that engages smallholder farmers, market agents, researchers, and other service providers in a collective process that identifies and exploits potential business opportunities that can equitably benefit the diverse actors in a market chain. This approach was developed and first applied in the Andes, to increase the competitiveness of potato market chains and improve the livelihoods of small farmers. Subsequently, through South-South knowledge sharing, the approach has been introduced and enhanced by local organizations focusing on different market chains in different regions. The PMCA is most effective when implemented as part of a multi-pronged strategy that includes support for farmer organizations, business development, policy change, and public awareness. The International Potato Center (CIP) has not only spearheaded development of the PMCA but has supported the development of local capacities needed to facilitate successful innovation processes. Both the approach and an emerging network of PMCA practitioners around the world have been enriched by South-South knowledge exchange and feedback from field experiences.