8.4 Markets for the rural poor

This chapter gives an overview of the many physical, structural, informational and organisational constraints that prevent poor rural people in developing countries from accessing markets. The part entitled 'The high physical cost of accessing markets' (pp. 163–167) provides a useful introduction to the role of roads and transport in reducing rural poverty.

In Africa in particular, poor access to roads and transport blights rural economies. These problems are especially acute in areas specialising in the production of roots and tubers, such as cassava. Such produce has high weight/value ratios and tends to be more perishable than grains.

The physical costs of market access can be reduced by road construction, road maintenance and improved transport. New roads encourage diversification in village economies by opening up the market for labour, artisanal products and agricultural produce.

Issuing body: The International Fund for Agricultural Development
Type: Report chapter
Status: Final
Markets and the rural poor (Chapter 5. Rural poverty report, 2001: the challenge of ending rural poverty)
File type:
File size: 253 KB
Year of publication: 2001
Number of pages: 30