If productive livelihoods are the goal, then research needs to look beyond subsistence agriculture to consider strategies that increase income – helping rural communities to invest in their farms and small enterprises to generate wider development gains. ICARDA acts as a catalyst to strengthen entire value chains, working closely with key stakeholders along each chain and allowing agriculture to generate income for poor households and spur wider economic activity.
With strategic partners ICARDA evaluates and assists in the creation of sustainable value chains based on a thorough evaluation of local and new markets. In addition, we are supported by new policies and the creation of effective enabling environments, including creating better access to agricultural enterprise, job creation, and vertical and horizontal integration in market processes with the private sector.
ICARDA also prioritizes the involvement of women and youth – two marginalized demographic groups with much to gain from taking part in strong value chains – and we develop monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems for investment programs that support the development of agricultural commodities in non-tropical dry areas. These include tools that are critical to guide scaling-up decisions.