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Going to the Market

Al Doerksen

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This book celebrates the millions of smallholder farmers, transporters and traders who pursue food security and income opportunities through local marketplaces. The vast majority of the world's poorest households do not have "salaried jobs" nor do they have access to government entitlement programs. They are entirely dependent on their own engagement with local markets.

Robust markets need both producers and consumers, and ideally, a lot of people who are both. Markets also benefit by the strong engagement of traders; those women and men who play the middle roles between producers and customers. Markets also need transporters - people with head loads, donkey carts, bicycles, motor cycle rickshaws, small trucks, big trucks - the variety is almost endless. Markets are places where you find men, women and children, mostly all carrying something to the market in the morning, and carrying back something else late afternoon. And at the end of the day, it is the human dynamic about markets which is so energizing.

Increasing productivity and market access for "base of the pyramid" producers and traders is a key objective for many leading development organizations. The resultant income and livelihood gains are critical to earning the income which is essential for access to improved education, health and housing.

This photobook is sponsored by iDE, Bridges to Prosperity, Engineers without Borders USA, Nokero and the Rudy & Alice Ramsey Foundation.

Except where noted, all photos in this book were taken by Al Doerksen, former CEO of iDE.