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Developing capacity for agricultural market chain innovation: Experience with the 'PMCA' in Uganda

By Douglas Horton, Beatrice Akello, Lucy Aliguma, Thomas Bernet, Andre Devaux, Berga Lemaga, Damalie Magala, Sarah Mayanja, Immaculate Sekitto, Graham Thiele and Claudio Velasco


The Participatory Market Chain Approach (PMCA) was developed originally to foster pro-poor innovation in potato market chains in the Andean highlands of South America. After promising results in Peru and Bolivia, two questions emerged: (1) Could the PMCA be successfully used to stimulate innovation outside the Andes and in other commodity chains? (2) What would it take to successfully introduce and apply the PMCA in a new setting? The first test application of the approach outside of the Andes was in Uganda. This paper outlines how the PMCA was developed in the Andes and its main features. It then describes the strategies used to introduce the PMCA to Uganda and some of the results to date. The Ugandan experience indicates that the PMCA can, in fact, stimulate technological and institutional innovation in locally relevant agricultural commodity chains in Africa. Since the PMCA requires researchers and development professionals to work in new ways with diverse stakeholders, including not only small farmers but also market agents and policy makers, its successful introduction requires an intensive capacity-development process that fosters the development of social networks, changes in attitudes, and the acquisition of social as well as technical knowledge and skills. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

DOI identifier: 10.1002/jid.1694
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