Sahaj is one of the very few programmes in Nepal that follows the Inclusive Markets (or M4P/MSD) approach. The Inclusive Markets approach takes a view of wider market systems and identifies the underlying causes influencing constraints in the market. This approach gives a broader understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the market systems and the roles played by each stakeholder or market participant.
Once the underlying causes of constraints in the market systems have been identified, Sahaj analyses which market actors have incentives to address those problems. Sahaj then develops partnerships with willing and capable market actors, often from the private sector. Those partners co-invest and lead in designing and implementing innovative business models and interventions which address the constraints of the poor farmers. These interventions could include offering affordable agro-inputs and services, providing embedded extension services and knowledge, expanding distribution, or offering improved access to markets for end products to the poor farmers. These interventions may also work in partnership with public-sector actors, who formulate rules and regulation and can take the role of a service provider.
This approach results in an accessible and more profitable market for the concerned stakeholders because each participant has an incentive to cooperate: The private sector companies expand into new market segments, earn more profit, and build increased capacity; intermediary actors such as collectors and distributors get a greater market share; the public-sector actors perform better in implementing their mandates; smallholder farmers get a higher income because of improved access to good farming knowledge and practices, agro-inputs and markets for their produce. Since majority of the activities become a part of the private sector partners business models, the impact of the interventions is sustainable. This means that the beneficiaries will continue to gain long after Sahaj’s exit from the interventions.