In this guest post, Wafaa El Khoury, Lead Technical Specialist at the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s Policy and Technical Advisory Division discusses the powerful effect that investing in rural infrastructure and institutions can have on smallholder farmers’ lives.
Smallholder farmers in the developing world face multiple constraints that they must overcome to sustainably increase their productivity, enhance their income, connect with markets and become more resilient. These constraints often involve limited access to advisory services, natural resources and agricultural inputs – including seeds, fertilisers and agro-chemicals – as well as rural finance and markets.
The absence of basic rural infrastructure, especially roads, is another limiting factor. Roads link smallholders in remote areas to supplies and markets. They are central to reducing the transaction costs of input delivery, and to facilitating rural financial systems’ outreach to remote areas. Continue reading