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Our Approach to Strengthening Agricultural Market Systems
Land O’Lakes Venture37 believes that by enabling our local partners to build inclusive, resilient and competitive market systems, we will achieve our mission to help communities thrive through agriculture.
Our Approach 
By combining four decades of international development expertise with insights from Land O’Lakes, Inc., we enable our local partners to overcome market barriers, reduce risk and spur innovations that lead to better-functioning agricultural market systems that serve smallholder farmers and the rural poor. Our global industry networks and agribusiness roots help us understand the complex interactions among value chains, support systems, behavioral governance structures and the motivation of market actors within them. We facilitate linkages and trust among these market actors to drive replicable market system behavior change and build their capacity to adapt to market fluctuations.

Our innovative private sector engagement (PSE) models ensure enterprises, producer groups and entrepreneurs lead the way in offering improved livelihood opportunities for rural communities and marginalized groups. We help them invest their own resources in business-savvy ideas and, over time, adapt and scale successful innovations, including new business models, technologies and practices that create transformational opportunities for women and youth.

Aside from partnerships with the private sector, we collaborate with local governments, universities and 
civil society groups by building their capacity in the areas of extension, research, policy and regulation, resulting in increased productivity and trade. We have decades of experience strengthening business enabling environments by facilitating self-reliant public-private partnerships, coordination platforms, and industry advocacy groups that increase communication and understanding between public and private sectors.
Our areas of focus:
»    Private Sector Engagement & Partnership Partnerships
are a cornerstone to our work around the globe, and we prioritize working with the private sector wherever possible through scalable and replicable models that strengthen farmer-to-fork agricultural systems.
»    Enterprise Development & Entrepreneurship: Agribusiness incubation and acceleration are key to creating more competitive market systems that catalyze innovation, produce quality products and increase household access to nutritious foods.
»    Social Inclusion: Our partnerships stimulate upgraded economic opportunities and increased agency for marginalized populations, including women, youth and smallholder farmers, leading to more inclusive market systems.
»    Building Resilience: We have the insights to help our partners build on-farm, enterprise and market resil-ience to shocks and stressors through access to information, use of appropriate technologies, improved management of resources and business adaptation. We make sure this translates to improved rural livelihoods and nutrition over the long-term.
»    Measuring Change in Market Systems: We enhance partner capabilities to monitor the success of their innovations and track changes in the market system environment. This information is used by our partners and other project participants to make business decisions and allows us to efficiently inte-grate learning and adaptation for continuous improvement of project interventions.

Project Examples:
USAID Rwanda Orora Wihaze 
2019-2024
This flagship USAID/Rwanda market systems development activity partners closely with small and medium enterprises and government health and nutrition networks to drive both economic growth and nutrition outcomes through the development of animal source foods sector. The overarching goal of this activity is 
to sustainably increase access to, availability and consumption of animal source foods through the development of a profitable market.  

Tanzania AgResults Dairy Productivity Challenge Project 
2019-2024
Pay-for-Results prize competitions 
in Tanzania challenge businesses to independently invest in innovative research and last-mile delivery solutions that provide bundled inputs and services to smallholder dairy farmers. These private sector-led solutions will facilitate an inclusive market system that is more responsive to the needs of small farmers, while simultaneously catalyzing business growth.

Feed the Future Mozambique Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity 
(RAMA-BC) 2016-2021
In the Beira Corridor of Mozambique, we work closely with the private sector to build agricultural and market systems resiliency against environmental and economic shocks and stresses. Private sector partnerships within the crop input distribution network system commercialize and scale new climate-smart technologies that have been tested through adaptive research by local universities and model family farms.
By Katie Niemeyer 02/08/2021