Programme profile

MDF: Market Development Facility (Phase 1)

Fiji Pakistan Papua New Guinea Sri Lanka Timor-Leste Australia & Pacific Southeast Asia Southern Asia

Programme Index Listing

Fiji, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste
Main implementer
Cardno Emerging Markets
2011 - 2017
Total budget
US $ 36 million
Annual budget
US $ 6 million avg
Harald Bekkers
External links
MDF website

Create additional employment and income for poor women and men in rural and urban areas through sustainable and broad-based pro-poor growth.

Market systems and interventions

MDF began in 2011 in Fiji and has expanded to Timor-Leste in 2012, Pakistan in 2013 and Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea in 2015.

In each country MDF focuses on sectors that involve people from rural and urban areas. Under each sector MDF has a portfolio of partnerships that support private sector businesses on different aspects such as technical advisory, selective infrastructure support, marketing and promotion, and regulatory reform. MDF works in the following sectors in each country.

MDF Fiji

In Fiji, MDF works in Tourism, Horticulture and Export Processing and its focus is on:

  • Encouraging (mostly export-led, but also tourism-led) diversification and commercialisation in agriculture ('turning farming into a business')
  • Creating off-farm employment for those who have left the land (in tourism and in processing)
  • Supporting local entrepreneurship in niche markets (mostly tourism-led, but also export-led)
  • Develop better business services and improve aspects of the Business Enabling Environment. For example, the Biosecurity Authority of Fiji which is the regulatory body responsible for monitoring exports of horticulture produce and issuing import permits for agro-inputs
  • Ensure geographic and ethnic inclusion to expand economic activities in other islands of Fiji and also to encourage more representation of indigenous Fijians in business.

See all MDF Fiji interventions

MDF Timor-Leste

In Timor-Leste, MDF works in Agribusiness and Greenfield Industries (Tourism and Manufacturing) and its focus is on:

  • Diversifying sectors away from oil and gas and agriculture to others.
  • Diversifying sources of income through alternatives to agriculture
  • Improving the connectivity (e.g. markets, goods, services, and people) within and from outside Timor-Leste.
  • Introduce value addition of local raw materials through greater processing.

See all MDF Timor Leste interventions

MDF Pakistan

Pakistan MDF works in Horticulture, Dairy and Meat and Leather and its focus is on:

  • Rural and regional inclusiveness
  • Increase export competitiveness
  • Broadening the entrepreneurial base
  • Creating opportunities for women

See all MDF Pakistan interventions 

MDF Papua New Guinea

In PNG, MDF works in Emerging Industries and Services  

  • MDF is focusing in PNG on four emerging industries and services that help improve access, reduce the costs involved in connecting demand and supply, preserve quality, and in particular cases, increase the safety and mobility of women.
  • MDF also focuses on industries and services that will benefit and reinforce better connections all of which generates local employment and income earning opportunities. The four areas include: ICT and Logistics, Local Value Addition, Agricultural Inputs and Services, and Tourism and Hospitality.

See all MDF PNG interventions

MDF Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka MDF works in Tourism and Related Services and its focus is on:

  • Encouraging diversification of tourism in Sri Lanka: Supporting tourism product development, promotion, better access to locally made products and increasing connectivity to community/experiential tourism providers.
  • Stimulating business activity in lagging areas: Supporting, establishing and promoting growth of business and entrepreneurship in certain regions – particularly those affected by the civil war.
  • Improving ‘Sri Lankan-made’ products for international consumers and markets: Supporting the growth of high quality products (such as horticulture and aquaculture) for international markets to bring in much needed export revenue for the country - reinforcing perceptions of Sri Lanka as a dynamic destination with a rich heritage and good quality of products and services. Creating better information flows to farmers and improving backward linkages for better market access for companies and reduce post-harvest loss.
  • Supporting Sri Lanka’s digital capability: Targeting niche opportunities, promotion, product development, access to better HR skills and a more conducive business environment for international visitors and customers. They require a range of information based products that can be catered by the local ICT industry in Sri Lanka.

To see all MDF Sri Lanka interventions


  • $5.11 million invested by partners
  • $3.89 million new market transactions generated
  • $5.28 million in additional incomes for 13,630 men and women
  • Benefitting 42,310 members of these households

For all MDF results please see the Annual Aggregation of Results 2015.

Updated December 2015.