Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of last-mile market access costs for smallholder farmers in Africa

Description of the topic

While a rich theoretical and empirical literature on economic remoteness has developed in recent years, there is not much recent empirical evidence on the costs faced by farmers in moving inputs and outputs from the farm gate to the nearest market. We propose innovative qualitative and quantitative data collection on last-mile transfer costs in Tanzania (and possibly other countries) to describe these costs, and the barriers they may constitute for market participation by risk-averse smallholder farmers.


To describe the modes and costs of transport available to rural smallholders, as well as the uncertainty around these costs at any particular point in time. Findings will be integrated into quantitative (econometric) analysis of market participation and technology adoption decisions from household survey data.

Work expectations

Student would work under the guidance of CIMMYT project leader, but would need to be self-directed and be capable of working independently, as well as part of a team. We would expect to produce a paper from this work. Intern would work closely with CIMMYT scientists in the Nairobi office, but may also work in field data collection.


  • Design data collection protocols, sampling frame & instrument
  • Collect field data
  • Analyze results
  • Write up analysis

Required skills

Student should have a social science background. Survey data collection experience would be helpful. Both qualitative and quantitative skills would be useful.