Floating fruit and vegetable market near Bangkok, Thailand

The transformative power of agroforestry depends on smallholders having reliable access to lucrative markets for the agroforestry products and services that farmers generate. Increasingly, smallholders in many developing countries have opportunities that simply did not exist before. Locally, economies are booming in response to higher incomes, improved business environments and increased urbanisation. Globally, sustained growth in demand for certain tree crops, such as cocoa, oil palm, rubber and timber, shows no sign of slowing down.

However, smallholders face serious constraints to participate in these growing markets. They often lack the assets needed for strengthening their productive capacities. The small and medium enterprises, including cooperatives and producer organisations, that link smallholders to markets often struggle to consolidate into viable businesses. In addition, the overall environment in which smallholders and businesses operate discourages investment.

ICRAF's Science Domain on Markets, Value Chains and Institutions seeks answers to critical questions related to the organisation of value chains for agroforestry products, the capacities of smallholders to effectively participate in these chains, and the opportunities for achieving greater impact at scale through market-related interventions. In particular, our research focuses on:


Selling fresh fruits and vegetables in peri-urban Lima, Peru
  • Small and medium enterprise development
  • Costs and benefits of agroforestry production
  • International and regional trade in agroforestry products
  • Opportunities for smallholders in growing local markets
  • Gender empowerment through market access
  • Design and assessment of value chain interventions
  • Certification and its implications for famers and landscapes
  • Land tenure and property rights