Rural Markets

Project completed

The political and health crisis in recent years has affected the economic activity of the Family Production Units (UPFs, in Spanish), which is why their resilience needs to be strengthened. The market development approach, applied in phases I and II of the project, has proven its potential to solve major bottlenecks.  In the last phase, the proposal is to consolidate and scale up the achievements in the market systems, as well as of the public and private services supporting them, focusing on knowledge management and sustainability mechanisms.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Employment & economic development
Agricultural services & market
Rural development
Agricultural financial services
01.01.2022 - 30.09.2023
CHF  1’000’000
Background Bolivia has suffered a very deep economic shock as a result of the political, economic and health crisis.  GDP declined by 11% in the year after the Covid-19 pandemic. According to official data, moderate poverty seems to have increased from 37% to 39% between 2019 and 2020, and extreme poverty from 12.9% to 13.6%. As of June 2021, the economy has started to show signs of recovery, with the Global Index of Economic Activity (IGAE) displaying an increase of 8.7%. Nonetheless, growth in the agricultural sector is modest with 2.2%. In Bolivia there are around 872,000 agricultural productive units (UPAs, in Spanish), of which 83% (723,700 UPAs) are family production units (UPF). Bolivia ranks 136th out of 177 countries in terms of its vulnerability to the effects of climate change.  In view of social and environmental characteristics, the State focuses on supporting smallholder farmers, within the framework of the policies set forth in the Patriotic Agenda 2025, even though the results are limited. The project uses the approaches of systemic market development (SMD) and multidimensional poverty analysis, since it is a bi-agency project of the Swiss and Swedish development cooperation that seeks to consolidate the achievements of the previous phases.

Overall goal

Contribute to the well-being of men and women who carry out activities in agri-food systems in rural, peri-urban and urban areas of Bolivia in harmony and balance with Mother Earth.

Project objective

Advocate for the intensification of agro-ecological agriculture, the conscious use and consumption of resources and products of the agri-food systems, and social inclusion of the vulnerable population. The project aims for 50,000 people (at least 20,000 women) to access markets of inputs, financial and non-financial services (public and private), social services, technologies and products and for 30,000 people (at least 12,000 women) to improve their capacities and broaden their opportunities.

Target groups

50,000 men and women who work in the agri-food systems in rural, peri-urban and urban areas, who make up UPFs in municipalities of the departments of La Paz, Oruro, Potosí, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, engaged in the production and commercialization of fruits, vegetables, tubers, Andean cereals, legumes, fish farming and forest products:

·         10,000 UPFs increase their net income from the main productive activity in a sustainable way.

·         15,000 UPFs increase the productivity of their main activity in a sustainable way.

·         6,000 women develop capacities and improve conditions that contribute to their empowerment and resilience.

20,000 men and women maintain and/or improve their employment and self-employment conditions.

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: UPFs have improved their access and participation in international and national markets for agri-food products (based on quality, packaging, price, others) and promote conscious food consumption.

Outcome 2: UPFs have access to adequate and innovative services, inputs, technology and capacities for the intensification of agro-ecological agriculture and the efficient and sustainable use of resources.

Outcome 3: UPFs and other actors have improved their access to financial education, insurance and financial products/services that help them enhance their capacities and abilities for financial inclusion.

Outcome 4: Public and private actors of the agri-food system have access to information services, capacity building, technical assistance and mechanisms that improve their articulation and coordination, coverage, level of investment, for participatory public management.

Outcome 5: Women have improved their access to resources, services and opportunities to enhance the capacities and skills that contribute to their empowerment and inclusion.

Outcome 6: Men, women and public and private actors have access to information, participate in citizen/community mobilization activities, and systematize experiences related to mechanisms, approaches, tools, methodologies that contribute to the intensification of agro-ecology, the conscious consumption of resources, and social inclusion of the vulnerable population.


Expected results:  

·         Public and/or private actors offer products and generate service mechanisms that promote good post-harvest and collection practices aimed at a greater efficiency in product handling, adding value and improving quality.

·         Capacity building and technical assistance service providers design and/or improve their offer for UPFs and actors in the market to improve their performance and resilience.

Financial service providers offer financial products and/or services adapted to the characteristics of UPFs (especially to the needs of women) aimed at enhancing resilience.

Results from previous phases:  

During the second phase 2018-2022: a) 13,265 UPFs increased their net income; b) more than 25,000 men and women improved their self-employment; c) 9,420 UPFs improved their climate change adaptation strategies (measures); d) 9,004 women developed their capacities and improved the conditions for their empowerment. The target population that has accessed the goods and services provided by the project performed three times better than the population that did not have access.

More than 100 actors were involved, including 40 public actors, 45 private actors, 9 producer associations and 12 NGOs; they made it possible for the project to leverage a fund accumulation of more than CHF 10 Mio.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Swisscontact

Other partners
Consortium: Swisscontact and Fundación PROFIN 
Coordination with other projects and actors Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) - co-financing partner. Ministry of Productive Development and Plural Economy (MDPyEP), Ministry of Rural Development and Land (MDRyT), Productive Development Bank (BDP), UNDP, FAO, IICA and other SDC programs (Bioculture, Promype / Jiwasa, Vocational Training, Resilient Andes).
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’000’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Total project since first phase Swiss budget CHF   13’501’637 Budget inclusive project partner CHF   14’501’637
Project phases

Phase 3 01.01.2022 - 30.09.2023   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021   (Completed) Phase 1 01.03.2013 - 30.06.2018   (Completed)