Rural Markets

Project completed

Rural Household Production Units experience various difficulties preventing them from establishing themselves sustainably and competitively in the market. The Rural Markets project successfully applied the market systems development approach. It now aims to induce systemic changes and a scaling up of markets for producers in new regions of productive potential. Support of non-financial services combined with financial services will establish synergies between public and private actors.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Employment & economic development
Agricultural services & market
Agricultural financial services
Rural development
Financial policy
01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021
CHF  3’152’000
Background Although Bolivia has improved overall poverty rates, the situation in rural areas clearly shows that there are still disparities in comparison to cities. The gap between moderate poverty in rural areas (55%) and urban areas (31%) is evident. In a ratio of 8 per 100 inhabitants, Rural Household Production Units provide 37% of the country’s food, farming in conditions of low productivity and constant changes and hazards as a consequence of climate change. The government’s Economic and Social Development Plan 2016-2020 prioritises support for small-scale farmers. Its policies include measures to contribute to food security and diversification, opening up markets and enhancing the inclusion of small-scale farmers in the country’s economy. The project applies elements of Market Systems Development (MSD/M4P). It is a bi-agency Swiss and Swedish cooperation project and also includes elements of multidimensional poverty analysis as key aspects of the methodological approach.
Objectives Contribute to reduce the poverty situation of men and women involved in rural economic activities by increasing their income, opportunities and capacities.
Target groups

A total of 27,000 Rural Household Production Units in the Altiplano and inter-Andean valleys regions (21 Municipalities in 5 Departments) will find it easier to access services and market resources and benefit from an improved business environment in the clusters of root crops (potatoes), vegetables, fruit and dairy production; support will also be provided to the quinoa, cañihua, amaranth and broad beans clusters. 

16,000 UPF will use the services and products that will be available as a result of the project’s work, increasing their productivity and improving their working conditions.

10,000 UPF (approximately 50,000 people) will increase their net income.

Medium-term outcomes
  1. UPF in the selected production clusters have increased their access to and participation in domestic or international markets.
  2. UPF in the priority territories have increased their access to and participation in information and advice services, technical assistance, supplies and technology markets.
  3. UPF and other stakeholders have increased productive resources related to their economic activity as a result of improved access to financial services.
  4. The business environment, influenced by legislation, capacity development in public management and links with the private sector, has facilitated and improved the economic activities of UPF.
  5. Women have increased access to goods and services that contribute to their further empowerment.

Expected results:  

  • Public and/or private actors introduce/improve mechanisms that channel the supply of products from UPF (supplier development, business links, short marketing circuits) to domestic and international markets.
  • Suppliers of services, inputs and technology improve their supply of services and/or products tailored to the requirements of UPF (especially women), with the aim of supporting UPF to improve their adaptation to climate change.
  • Providers of financial services offer innovative financial products and/or services tailored to the requirements of UPF (especially women), with the aim of supporting UPF to improve their adaptation to climate change.
  • Public and/or private institutions provide goods and services that contribute to women’s empowerment.

Results from previous phases:   The first phase of the Rural Markets project (2014-17) achieved an increase of around 72% (450 BOB/month) in the net incomes of 13,000 Rural Household Production Units, 32% of them headed by women; 18,000 UPF improved their employment/self-employment conditions, having increased their productivity by 21% thanks to better use of technology and enhanced market links. Local governments increased their funding for economic development by 23.5%. These figures, confirmed by using the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) standards for monitoring and evaluation, show a Benefit/Cost ratio of about 2.6 for the project in its first phase.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Swisscontact

Coordination with other projects and actors The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) is the co-financing partner. Ministry of Productive Development and the Plural Economy (MDPyEP), Ministry of Rural Development and Land (MDRyT). The Agricultural Development Programme PROAGRO (GIZ-SIDA), ASOCIOS (IFAD) and other SDC programmes (Biocultura, Promype/Jiwasa, Vocational Training).
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    3’152’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’151’867
Project phases Phase 3 01.01.2022 - 30.09.2023   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.03.2013 - 30.06.2018   (Completed)