In this post, Lizan Kuster (from Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter) provides important insights into the role and importance of accelerators. Maybe more significantly, though, is the influence well-run accelerators have on relational networks and the competitive landscape. While the author starts with the more immediate effects of a business rolling out innovative products, systems thinkers are starting to realize that the more important disruption is likely to come from the building of more trusted and robust social networks around entrepreneurship and innovation. In particular, the efforts the author discusses related to mentorship and peer-to-peer networks, when they take hold, provide the foundation on which many market systems start to shift toward being more value-based. More specifically, the discussion around improving markets would benefit from an understanding of competitive landscapes and how entrepreneurial networks can shape the way society favors or not certain market behaviors. In this context, while critically important for entrepreneurs to deliver value to owners, staff, suppliers and most importantly customers, they also, along with other market actors, have to intentionally push changes in the market system to push/force other firms to compete on valued delivered. For on going benefits to accrue to low income communities over time, there will need to many cycles of entrepreneurs harnessing new technologies to deliver real value.
How accelerators’ growing focus on mentorship can benefit the whole housing sector
Many entrepreneurs get their jumpstart through an accelerator program, compressing strategic business lessons into a few months. Accelerators have become an essential avenue for startups to connect with investors and funds that allow them to scale their businesses.
For impact-focused accelerators like Habitat for Humanity’s ShelterTech, building a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem is particularly critical to the program’s goal of fostering successful, disruptive housing innovations. In designing the ShelterTech program, the Terwilliger Center knew it was critical not only to connect startups with peers and funders, but also with experts and mentors from a wide range of sectors and business expertise. The benefits of mentorship for start-ups are well established – one survey found that 70 percent of small businesses that receive mentorship survive more than five years, double the survival rate of those who do not.
But bringing mentorship into social-impact accelerator programs does not just benefit the startups. Corporations, foundations, and other ecosystem partners have much to gain, both directly and from the stronger and innovative markets that these partnerships help create.
Gaining energy from an entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving
Mentorship enables companies to have personal and unique insights into new markets, as well as access to emerging disruptive technologies that can lead to new businesses or open new avenues for innovation. The Hilti Foundation and Dow are two of the partners helping mentor the current ShelterTech accelerator cohorts in Southeast Asia and the Andean region of South America. As Johann Baar, member of the executive board at The Hilti Foundation, explained, mentors from the Hilti Group are “excited to learn from the startups because the way they drive innovation is probably a little bit different of how an established enterprise, like Hilti, drives its operations and its business.” He also added that this is a learning journey for the mentors, giving them new opportunities to apply business solutions from their daily work.
This new energy and learning opportunities are also what motivated Nataly Acosta, a Marketing Manager at Dow based in Brazil, to volunteer as a mentor for ShelterTech’s Andean Region. Acosta is mentoring Terroformaciones, an Ecuadorian startup founded in 2020 that produces eco-friendly bricks made of stabilized soil and cement, which are more cost-effective and earthquake resilient than traditional ceramic bricks. Being a ShelterTech mentor gives Acosta a different lens through which to observe how the market is changing, and Terroformaciones’ experience shows both the challenges and opportunities of a different market segment. As she explains, “it is valuable to understand what startups’ offer the market because it might also influence our business. I also look at how they are building networks and addressing new challenges for the sector.”
Peer-to-peer learning with other firms in the ecosystem
Just like the startups, ShelterTech mentors also benefit from peer learning and discussions as members of the accelerator’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through community events, resource sharing and networking. Furthermore, startups are paired with multiple mentors, which enables more robust conversation and insights for everyone involved. Acosta, for example, is one of three mentors supporting Terroformaciones, with other mentors representing different industries and areas of expertise. "The benefits are mutual. It has been valuable to connect with other professionals in the group,” Acosta says. “It is nice to learn what other people within the value chain think.”
With COVID-19 normalizing digital community and work-from-anywhere tools, the potential for connection and peer-to-peer leaning is endless. Mentors for the current ShelterTech cohort span four continents, bringing global insights to the startups and each other. Peer-to-peer learning can extend beyond a time-bound mentorship program, to productive business relationships. A strong entrepreneurial network and digital community engagement spaces can help ensure continued meaningful connection.
Building better functioning markets
Each of the ShelterTech startups focuses different aspects of housing innovation, all in service of a lofty but critical goal: creating better housing opportunities for the 1.6 billion people globally who live in inadequate shelter. These families spend more than US$700 billion per year on housing yet are severely underserved by global housing markets.
By supporting social-impact accelerators, corporations and foundations can help expand and strengthen the markets providing critical products and services to these communities. According to Baar, for the mentors, “it’s not just about business, it’s about the social impact that they want to create through supporting these startups.” One of the most exciting aspects of supporting the ShelterTech accelerators is the opportunity to “think about how, besides setting up a proper business, can I make sure it also creates the best impact.”
The sentiment is shared by Acosta: “by supporting the startups you are not just supporting a business, but a venture that is solving a global problem. So, you are having more impact that way.” Over 100 startups have already joined the ShelterTech accelerator program, going on to find international acclaim and pilot trailblazing technologies in their local markets. Through its current cohorts, ShelterTech has engaged almost 50 mentors to support 20 startups across ten countries and has already secured around 800 hours of mentorship, providing the jumpstart that these ventures need to answer today’s most pressing shelter challenges. Through engagements like these, organizations at all stages can contribute to fostering more inclusive housing markets that better meet the needs of low-income households.
In 2002, Timor-Leste became one of the world’s youngest countries. With independence came significant new challenges: How to build prosperity, basic infrastructure, and agricultural systems that can feed and support a growing population?
Over the past two decades, Timor-Leste has embarked on the monumental task of building a sustainable and productive agricultural system—complete with new infrastructure, diverse value chains, and market connections—essentially from the ground up.
To help invest in agricultural development in Timor-Leste, Resonance partnered with Cardno on USAID’s Avansa Agrikultura Project. From this work, we offer three lessons on how to tap partnerships as powerful tool to advance sustainable agriculture in emerging markets.
3 Tips for Building Better Partnerships for Sustainable Agriculture
Cross-sector and value-chain partnerships are critical tools to advance strong market systems and sustainable agriculture. From our experience in Timor-Leste, we’ve distilled three key lessons on how to forge and deploy partnerships that strengthen sustainable agricultural systems in emerging markets.
1. Map and Forge Partnerships Across the Market System
In very thin markets, it’s critical to create a robust local ecosystem as soon as possible. On the Avansa project, within the first six months, we rapidly appraised and mapped the existing and potential partner landscape. We conducted in-depth interviews and analysis with dozens of diverse stakeholders, including farmers, buyers, collectors, traders, technology providers, input providers, and financial institutions.
With each stakeholder, we looked at their business needs, their pain points and challenges, their motivations and goals, and how potential agricultural development initiatives could leverage their expertise and knowledge. This early mapping helped us forge important partnerships across the market system and identify market linkages that we otherwise might not have explored.
For example, given limited market opportunities and scant export markets in Timor Leste, we knew we’d have to forge new market avenues and partnerships to help farmers sell their products. Three opportunities came up in our partnership assessment: supermarkets, the hospitality sector, and food processors.
We facilitated connections between farmer groups and twelve supermarkets, two hotels in the hospitality sector, and 18 food processors. The resulting partnerships opened new markets for farmers to sell their products and incentivized them to continue growing high-value horticulture crops. Not only did these partnerships help farmers expand their market opportunities, but they also opened channels for local customers to access fresh, local produce (which had previously been imported or simply unavailable) and helped the hospitality sector market to foreign tourists.
Mapping and forging relationships are key steps in building a robust market ecosystem. Through market and agribusiness linkages and improved production practices, Avansa-supported farming households significantly increased annual earnings. These linkages have also created greater resiliency to market disruptions for all stakeholders.
We are now applying this model of early partnership mapping to a new USAID/Timor-Leste-funded project, the NGO Advocacy for Good Governance activity, led by Counterpart International.
2. Connect Financial Institutions, Companies, and Farmers for Smarter Finance Solutions
Access to appropriate finance is critical—and success is not just about designing the right financing products. It often comes down to securing the right partnerships.
Across the globe, farmers consistently struggle to access the financing and capital they need to invest in more sustainable or productive practices, equipment, and inputs. Most financial institutions see small farmers as risky investments and are either unwilling to lend to them, or set unaffordable high interest rates and unrealistic collateral requirements. Private investors also often see agricultural markets as too risky.
In Timor-Leste, all of this was true, and farmers faced a unique challenge: due to the underdeveloped private sector, formal financing infrastructure was nonexistent for the smallholder sector, and most farmers didn’t have a bank account. In the initial stages of the Avansa project, major input suppliers provided their own financing (in the form of input credit) to farmers. Yet, suppliers were unable to assess farmers’ risk profiles, lacked the field staff and reach to recover payments, and struggled to keep track of outstanding loans. Further, for lenders, there was little to no legal recourse or enforcement in remote rural areas if farmers defaulted on loans.
Banks and lending institutions needed to be involved. To set things in motion, we secured a strategic partnership with a Timor-Leste financial institution (FI), Kaebauk Investimentu no Finansas. Listening to their needs and concerns, we worked with them to build a pilot lending program that would benefit farmers, the FI, and the private sector. As our partner, the FI co-led financial literacy training for farmers—which built trust between farmers and the FI—and developed and offered a new input credit product for smallholders in partnership with two leading input providers (Vind Patel and Kmanek). It took a few years to get going, but eventually farmers were able to access capital so they could buy higher-quality inputs, acquire more land, and scale their farms more sustainably. These partnerships are successful and evolving—continuing past the Avansa project.
As we consider how to get critical financing and capital to farmers in other markets, we’ve seen that a combination of strategic partnerships between financial institutions, input suppliers, and farmers; tailored training for both farmers and FIs; and innovative and appropriate financing mechanisms can help unlock sustainability and growth.
3. Tap Trusted Partnerships To Mitigate Market Shocks
When COVID-19 hit, many feared that farmers in Timor-Leste would see their incomes and revenues slashed. In a report we recently conducted, Analysis of Market Demand and Supply for Agricultural Inputs and Provision of Agribusiness Services to Farmers in Timor-Leste, we found that while there were initial shocks to Timorese inputs and services, the market quickly normalized.
Why? Our answer: Trusted partnerships and access to technology.
In interviews, we discovered that because of the strong partnerships formed between farmers, collectors, traders, input providers, and buyers during the Avansa project, the market ecosystem was able to quickly pivot to e-commerce-based transactions.
Digital technology combined with trusted relationships allowed Timorese buyers and farmers to continue to buy and sell during the pandemic, evolving commerce to new platforms. Collectors also used SMS and WhatsApp for socially distant coordination of purchases and delivery during lockdowns. In our interviews, we found that market actors were eager to continue using digital platforms and tools because it made information sharing and trading much easier.
As we look ahead, companies and the global development community can continue to accelerate the transition to the digital economy by building and testing new market platforms and apps—such as Connected Farmer and DeHaat—that allow farmers, traders, collectors, and input providers to buy and sell with greater transparency and efficiency. More investment is needed, as well, to bridge the global digital divide, ensuring farmers have access to mobile phones and reliable internet.
Ye, we’d also argue that this shift toward the digital marketplace is most likely to be successful in the context of a strong and resilient market ecosystem, made up of diverse actors engaged in trusted partnerships.
The Future of Strategic Partnerships for Sustainable Agriculture in Emerging Markets
The Avansa project in Timor-Leste was unique. Building a strong, reliable, and sustainable agriculture system, especially from the ground up, takes time. In Timor-Leste, much work still needs to be done—but the foundation is being laid.
Even more encouraging: The lessons we’ve learned about harnessing strategic partnerships and building market ecosystems can be applied with impact to other emerging markets around the world.
In the following blog the authors highlight the importance of relationships as central to inclusive and resilient market systems. For farmers, traders, buyer, processes, supermarkets, etc. to move past transactional thinking (i.e., often with an intent to capture as much margin as possible) they have to engage each other and evolve a level of mutual understanding that their joints interest are worthwhile pursuing. This is often a tricky and difficult process, and particularly difficult when there is a history of winners, losers, and perceptions of unfairness. In the case of East Timor where interactions have not yet engrained mistrust, pushing interventions that focus on relationship building from the start has been critically important. A thread that will run through all the sessions at the Market System Symposium is that without such relational foundations, market systems struggle to adapt effectively whether from demand signals from poor consumers or in the face of shocks/stresses.
The authors raise a critically important point about the need to integrate resilience lenses into market systems approaches. Increasingly, a healthy market system has to include resilience as a central element or capacity. At the same time, resilience is not a single, easily definable capacity. For example, as a society develops, the way it manages risks will change over time, including how they share/define responsibilities related to responding to shocks and stresses. For development practitioners, how to balance immediate support to ensure people/market actors can make it through a shock with building the capacity of the system to better share/manage risks related to shocks over the longer term can be a tricky. As the blog suggests, and will be a key thread through the Market Systems Symposium, understanding resilience in a systemic context is an iterative learning journey that is about ongoing change, as opposed to a definable solution.
The supply of goods and services can often be disrupted not only in normal times, but in times of crisis when they are needed most. This happens when socioeconomic systems are not performing well, or not at all. Many of you may have experienced this firsthand at some time in your life. Shocks and stresses impact on socioeconomic systems, and reverse hard-earned development gains disproportionately affecting the poorest and most vulnerable.
At GOAL, we believe that the ability of vulnerable populations to be resilient to shocks and stresses is associated with how productive, inclusive and resilient critical socioeconomic systems are to ensure they are functional not only in normal times, but also during and after times of crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how interconnected and vulnerable our societies and systems are. Now more than ever we need to work towards more inclusive and resilient societies. We need to go beyond addressing short-term needs to provide longer-term solutions for the wellbeing of people and making sure that no one is left behind.
“At GOAL, we believe that the ability of vulnerable populations to be resilient to shocks and stresses is associated with how well critical socioeconomic systems are functioning in normal times, as well as during and after times of crisis”.
GOAL’s approach to Resilience Building
GOAL has developed the Resilience for Social Systems Approach, or R4S, to inform a resilience approach for humanitarian and development interventions by improving the understanding of socioeconomic systems and how they react to shocks and stresses. The R4S is a step-by-step guide, structured into five key components, to identify, map, and synthesize socioeconomic systems against risk scenarios. One of the central innovations in R4S is its system mapping tool which aims to improve understanding of complex socioeconomic systems and how they would react to different shocks and stresses. R4S also provides new guidance on analysing determinant factors of systemic resilience.
The R4S approach has been applied by GOAL across a range of socioeconomic systems in different contexts and programmes in Latin America and Africa. Some countries where the R4S has been applied are Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Sierra Leone.
How does the R4S Approach work?
The R4S comprises 5 key components.
Practical examples of R4S approach
The R4S has been implemented in “Barrio Resiliente”, an urban resilience programme funded by USAID and implemented by GOAL in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and most recently, in Colombia. The R4S has facilitated GOAL’s systems approach to build the resilience of informal urban settlements by identifying, understanding, and implementing interventions in critical socioeconomic areas (e.g., social housing, drainage, etc.) which are relevant to build resilience.
Another example in an urban programme is the Fecal Sludge Management System (FSM) in Freetown, Sierra Leone. GOAL worked to identify and prioritise risk scenarios which could potentially affect the FSM, in addition to a vulnerability and resilience assessment carried out through a participative process with system actors. As a result, recommendations on how to strengthen the system’s resilience were built to influence future interventions on FSM by GOAL or other key systems stakeholders.
Other examples of the R4S approach are its application in the artisanal fishery system in northern Honduras, which has guided the design and implementation process of the “Resilience of the Blue Economy Programme” since 2016. This programme targets marginalised indigenous and afro-descendant populations and seeks to improve the competitiveness of artisanal fishing companies, organizations and fishermen and women to ensure an economic integration to the market while still preserving the mangrove ecosystem and increasing their resilience to climate change. During the nationwide lockdown in Honduras in 2020 due to COVID-19, the GOAL team and partners working on the Resilience of the Blue Economy programme assessed the vulnerability of the artisanal fishery system by using the R4S. This analysis helped to understand the reaction and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on this system. It was discovered that 83% of system functions and operability were interrupted totally or partially. Furthermore, it informed the programme team and systems actors to quickly adapt and advocate for the system’s response and recovery support among different stakeholders and government actors.
Finally, GOAL is rolling out the R4S Approach as part of a diagnostic market research that is being led by the The Young Africa Works in Uganda: Markets for Youth programme in Uganda. The Markets for Youth programme, funded by the Mastercard Foundation, is being implemented by GOAL, private sector partners and three Ugandan Civil Society Organizations. This is an agricultural market systems development intervention designed to enable 300,000 rural young women and men, refugees and people living with disabilities to access dignified and fulfilling work over a five-year period. The R4S Approach will help develop recommendations on key interventions to build the different systems resilience to main risk scenarios triggered by drought, climate change, and other factors.
Humanitarian and development programmes that do not account for the resilience of vulnerable groups, or the socioeconomic systems they depend on, are much more likely to experience unintended negative consequences in the short and/or long-term. Therefore, we need to strengthen our understanding of systems’ dynamics between its different components (stakeholders - including the Target Group - resources, regulations) and assess the potential impacts from actual and future risk scenarios. This will ultimately improve the well-being of the most vulnerable populations, despite shocks and stresses.
For more information about the R4S, please visit: https://resiliencenexus.org/r4s/
For more information about GOAL programmes, please visit: https://www.goalglobal.org/
If interested on a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) about the R4S, please complete this form to receive an invite and course details once its launched.
Latin America Regional Director and Deputy Director Programme Innovation, GOAL
A Chartered engineer with a Master’s Degree in Engineering Science, Bernard has over 24 years' experience in private sector consulting and international humanitarian and development programming. Bernard is the inspiration behind GOAL’s Resilience Innovation and Learning Hub and led the development of the Resilience for Social Systems (R4S) Approach and the Analysis of the Resilience of Communities to Disasters (ARC-D) Toolkit. Bernard has also guided the development of GOAL’s programmes in the LAC region, targeting resilience of informal urban settlements (Barrio Resiliente) and Resilience of the Blue Economy.
Gabriela Cáceres Resilience Innovation and Learning Hub Coordinator, GOAL
A Chartered Environmental Engineer with a Master’s Degree in Demography and Development, Gabriela has ten years’ experience in monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability of development programmes. She has vast knowledge and experience in resilience in informal urban settlements, local planning for development, training and providing technical advice on resilience at community and system’s level. Gabriela collaborated in the development for GOAL of the of the Resilience for Social Systems (R4S) Approach and the Analysis of the Resilience of Communities to Disasters (ARC-D) Toolkit. Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
In the following post, Katie Niemeyer of Land O' Lakes Venture37 discusses an interesting case of conservation agriculture. For years, conservation agriculture has been pushed by donors for its clear benefits in terms of soil fertility, increased productivity, crop diversity, etc. As the post describes, conservation farming practices can also have a positive effect on resilience at the household level, as improved soil is central to increasing the ability to produce crops even when faced with pest and/or weather shocks/stresses. At the same time, there has been little uptake in many countries. The post highlights the importance of taking a more holistic or systemic perspective, that can leverage market forces and factors to increase the attractiveness to farmers of taking on these new practices. One challenge to this case, and all of development writ large, is that helping smallholders increase maize production, often for consumption, is only a starting point-- not an end point. Increasingly, it is important to think about how such initial and beneficial changes can catalyze the next change and the change after that, leading to an increasingly faster pace of the journey to self reliance. Register for & join the Market Systems Symposium for more on this topic.
Climate Adaptation and Conservation in Market Systems as a key theme at this year’s Market Systems Symposium presents a unique opportunity for us as market systems development practitioners to think more dynamically about the concept of resilience. At Land O’Lakes Venture37, we are exploring how market-driven climate smart agriculture can strengthen farm-household systems, and how that relates to market systems resilience.
A farm system is the way in which farm resources are used and tailored to the physical, biological, and socioeconomic realities of local agro-ecological contexts. A farm-household system also incorporates individual household needs and desires that drive decision making. Climate smart and conservation agriculture provide an opportunity to strengthen the resilience of the whole farm-household system. However, to achieve this at scale market systems resilience must also be strengthened to enable systemic change in the way farmers produce.
Connecting the dots: market, farm, and household resilience through climate adaptation
Now, some ground setting on climate smart and conservation agriculture. Climate smart agriculture (CSA) is an integrated approach to farming that aims to increase productivity and incomes in a way that enables adaptation and builds resilience to climate change while reducing emissions. Conservation agriculture is a subset of CSA. It incorporates the tenets of minimum tillage, soil cover, and greater plant diversity through crop rotation or intercropping. Taking a farm-household system view, Land O’Lakes Venture37 works with the private sector and other local partners that have the ability to enable resilient agriculture – they use CSA (including conservation) technologies that drive farm, household and market system resilience.
Now that I’ve satiated all of the aggies out there, let’s turn to the development theorists.
A quick refresh on USAID’s Resilience Frameworks
USAID defines resilience as the ability of people, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth.
This definition of resilience is demonstrated through a set of absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacities that enable continued progress toward improved outcomes despite shocks and stresses.
USAID’s Market Systems Resilience framework views these capacities through the lens of proactive versus reactive market systems orientations. While a market system with a proactive orientation has the ability to absorb, adapt, and transform in response to shocks or stresses, reactive orientations leave the market system unable to transform due to limited diversity and unbalanced power, which contributes to system stagnancy or fragile functional states.
We can use this resilience framework to think about a resilient farm-household system. In conventional land-based agriculture, the soil is a good place to start. Evidence shows that resilient (conservation) agriculture practices build healthier soils that strengthen farm-household system absorptive capacity by helping crops withstand severe weather events. Accumulation of soil organic matter improves soil structure and aggregate stability, while also actively sequestering carbon and mitigating the effects of climate change. Resilient agriculture also enables the adaptive capacity of the farm-household system by maintaining or improving soil fertility, bulk density, water holding capacity and infiltration so that the soil can support different types of crops without the need to incorporate expensive inputs into the cropping schedule.
Resilient agriculture also contributes to resilience of the “household” in the farm-household system by diversifying production and strengthening absorptive and adaptive capacities. For example, if a farm-household system incorporates cover and/or intercropping of legumes, the resilience outcome is four-fold:
But how can we scale adoption of resilient agriculture?
This brings us to the critical role that market systems resilience plays in enabling the transformative capacity of the farm-household system. Agricultural support networks must be able to provide the tailored innovations, technologies and advisory services that are needed to support resilient agriculture. But this should be viewed as an opportunity to catalyze investment that facilitates greater market system diversity and connectivity and foster a more proactive market system orientation. And as more farm households adopt resilient agriculture and are able to withstand and thrive through climate shocks and stresses, other market actors ranging from input supply companies, agrodealers, service providers, and offtakers benefit from the mutually-reinforcing effects of more consistent supply and demand.
You might be thinking – that’s great in theory, but given that resilient and conservation agriculture often promote low-input systems and require time before productivity benefits can be realized – where are the market incentives for adoption, replication, and scale?
Let’s look at a case study from Mozambique demonstrating market incentives for resilient agriculture
Mozambique is highly vulnerable to climate change. While Cyclones Idai, Kenneth, and Eloise caught international headlines, increasingly erratic rainfall, reduced growing seasons (by up to two days/year), and soil degradation continue to intensify as the primary drivers of vulnerability. Climate-adapted hybrid seed varieties alone cannot be a panacea for the Mozambique agriculture sector because degraded soils limit the ability of farm-household systems to achieve the full production potential of hybrid seeds in order to receive a return on investment. And, despite millions of dollars of donor funding, the formal seed market remains relatively small. A recent seed system survey conducted by Venture37 on the Feed the Future Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity – Beria Corridor (RAMA-BC) suggests that only 6% of seed is sourced from agrodealers, compared to 78% of community sourced seed.
Some input supply market actors are realizing that to capture the smallholder farmer markets in Mozambique, they need different solutions and are starting to respond to the market incentives of resilient agriculture.
RAMA-BC partners with input supply networks (seed companies and agrodealers) throughout northern Mozambique to pilot and scale input product innovations and embedded services that support resilient agriculture, particularly in climate smart maize production systems. One of those partnerships is with Phoenix Seeds, an independent first-mover seed company in the space of cover crop and intercropping input products that, even before the RAMA-BC partnership, had started introducing lablab and sunhemp legumes into the local market. Phoenix Seeds and Venture37 have partnered to successfully test the use of jackbean as a cover crop (which Phoenix has independently scaled to commercial seed production), pilot promotional seed kits that bundle drought-tolerant maize seed with complementary legume cover crop seeds, test the efficacy of using legume intercrops to control fall armyworm through integrated pest management (IPM), and demonstrate resilient agriculture practices and the resultant productivity gains through demonstration plots in partnership with local agrodealers and commercially-oriented lead farmers.
What was the Impact on Resilience?
As we enter the exciting time of sharing, learning, and creating together at this year’s Symposium, I challenge us all to step out of our “resilience silos” and draw connections between private sector-led approaches that achieve market system, farm system, and farm-household system resilience outcomes.
The MSDHub Blog Series is authored by respected implementers and donors of market systems projects globally.