Connecting smallholders with dynamic markets: a market information service in Zambia

Commodity markets have changed significantly in the past two decades, with smallholders increasingly requiring robust market intelligence to understand and secure benefit from the new environment. This article explores the approach to, and lessons stemming from, an IFAD-financed market information service in Zambia. It finds that by locating the service within a pre-existing institution with legitimacy and credibility, the service has secured the interest of a wide range of actors, and has better enabled smallholders and traders to access and utilise relevant, up-to-date, and actionable information to shape decision-making. The article concludes by discussing the key considerations that shaped the institutional analysis, and the issues that will influence the financial sustainability of the service.