On the other hand, in mainly privately financed RAS, ecological sustainability and inclusiveness are at risk. In order for ODA interventions to be sustainable, these market challenges need to be considered when supporting RAS.

How can ODA boost RAS benefits for public interests?

The studies provide three recommendations for overseas development assistance to strengthen social equity and ecological sustainability of RAS systems:

Selection of project areas according to social and agro-ecological criteria. The geographic area of ODA interventions influences inclusiveness of the supported RAS system. By supporting RAS in regions with a low agricultural potential or in areas representing a high share of disadvantaged groups, ODA increases its potential to create an inclusive intervention.

Looking for the “business case” in RAS if services are supposed to be privately financed. The so-called “business case” supports value chains to which the target group can contribute and creates a value added to the produce, allowing RAS stakeholders to finance RAS.

Only if RAS effectively support both functions of the business case can they be catered to poor smallholder producers, while being financed independently of public funds.