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Potential contributions of market-systems development initiatives for building climate resilience

Laura Kuhl

World Development, 2018, vol. 108, issue C, 131-144

Abstract: Market systems interventions are an increasingly common approach to agricultural development. While the impacts of these interventions on poverty reduction and market participation by smallholders has been studied, little is known about their contributions to building climate resilience. This paper analyzes the compatibility of market systems and climate resilience approaches to agricultural development, using the United States government’s Feed the Future program as an empirical case study. Drawing on case studies in Ethiopia and Honduras, the paper examines the synergies and tensions between market systems and climate resilience approaches. The study finds that the market systems interventions have contributed to climate resilience, but also evidence of significant limitations due to fundamental tensions between market system and resilience approaches in terms of what their goals are, who they target, and how they approach their objectives. This study has important implications for the design and implementation of climate resilience programs and policies, as well as the expectations that agricultural development programs will be able to build climate resilience. Recognizing the inherent tensions that exist between market systems approaches and resilience approaches and explicitly discussing the trade-offs between the goals, target audiences, and primary mechanisms of each approach would represent an important step forward if market systems programs are going to contribute to climate resilience.

Keywords: Agricultural development; Climate resilience; Ethiopia; Honduras; Adaptation; Market systems (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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