Research Fellow Partnership Programme

Understanding and fomenting effective regional research and development processes in rural areas of the Andes

Research fellow Thomas BERNET
Involved institutions International Potato Centre CIP
  Consortium for Sustainable Development of the Andes CONDESAN
  Agricultural Section SDC Peru
  Department for Agricultural Economics IAW, ETH Zurich
  Swiss Centre for Agricultural Extension, now AGRIDEA

The main contribution of this RFPP-project relates to method development to improve market access and competitiveness of small-scale farmers. In close collaboration with Papa Andina and INCOPA, both SDC-funded potato projects, the ‘Participatory Market Chain Approach’ (PMCA) was developed, a new participatory R&D method aiming to generate market chain innovations based on trust and collaboration among stakeholders linked to a certain commodity. Thanks to Papa Andina’s commitment to this new approach, PMCA was validated in Peru and Bolivia, and is now being applied in Uganda in three different market chains. A PMCA User Guide is underway, going in press early 2006.
With PyMAGROS, SDC’s agricultural program in Peru, and CIP’s Germplasm Enhance-ment Division, the ‘Marketing Approach to Conserving Agricultural Biodiversity’ (MACAB) was developed, a method to promote underutilized pro-poor crops with market potential.
Through the applications of these two methods with its partners, also very practical outcome has been achieved. Especially in the INCOPA project, a series of new products were developed together with market chain actors, including technology (a low-cost potato grader) and a new organization (CAPAC Peru). With this participatory work, the project has also helped to generate new knowledge and skills, within and outside CIP. The strong commitment of Papa Andina to this participatory and market-oriented work promises further learning in how to effectively link farmers to markets and make research more demand-driven. Papa Andina and the RFPP-research fellow, on a consultancy bases, are planning next steps to promote and validate PMCA in new contexts, especially in Africa.

Selected Publications

Thomas BERNET, Graham Thiele  and Thomas Zschocke (Eds.)(2006):Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA). User Guide. International Potato Center (CIP), Lima.

BERNET T. et al. (2005): Participatory Market Chain Approach, In: BeraterInnen News, 1/2005, LBL Lindau.

G. P. BUTLER, T. BERNET and K. MANRIQUE (2005): Mechanization of potato grading on small-scale farms: a case study from Peru. In: Expl Agric. (2005), volume 41, pp. 81–92.

Thomas BERNET , Albéric Hibon, Merideth Bonierbale and Michael Hermann (2004): Marketing Approach to Conserve Agricultural Biodiversity. In: BeraterInnen News, 2/2004, LBL Lindau


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