Programme profile

MDF: Market Development Facility (Phase 2)

Fiji Pakistan Papua New Guinea Sri Lanka Timor-Leste Australia & Pacific Asia: South Asia: South Eastern Agriculture Infrastructure Tourism

Programme Index Listing

Fiji, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste
Main implementer
Palladium Group
Other implementers
2017 - 2022
Total budget
External links
MDF website

Project description / objective

Market Development Facility (MDF) is an Australian Government funded multi-country initiative which promotes sustainable economic development, through higher incomes for women and men in our partner countries.

We connect individuals, businesses, governments and NGOs with each other and with markets at home and abroad. This enhances investment and coordination and allows partnerships to flourish, strengthening inclusive economic growth.

Market system focus


Niche destination travel, nautical tourism, Fijian products & experiences.

High-value agriculture
Quality agriculture inputs, premium branded Fijian products.

Urban industries
Outsourced services, MSME business development services.

Sri Lanka

Tourism labour, tourism data, tourism promotion, product development, tourism sector coordination.

Blue swimmer crabs, giant freshwater prawns, specialty coffee, and organic spices and herbs.

Timor Leste

Vegetable inputs, aquaculture, konjac, pigs, cattle, cocoa, coffee, coconut.

Marketing, tour products, services.

Start-up of new manufacturing enterprises.


Low-cost nutritious fodder, access to finance for livestock and quality inputs, access to other inputs and aggregation services.

Access to inputs and information, off-take of horticulture produce.

Access to inputs and markets, inclusive work spaces.

Programme interventions



  • Supporting Tourism Fiji to promote off-season events held in niche destinations such as Savusavu and Taveuni
  • Supporting Fiji Airways to produce marketing material aimed at promoting niche destination holiday packages
  • Supported a public-private partnership between Fiji Navy and Kenua Fiji to update hydrographic maps for new cruise-ship destinations

High-value agriculture

  • Supporting KK’s Hardware with seed imports and exposure to potential suppliers
  • Supported Fiji Sugar Corporation to re-brand Sugar of Fiji products for export and introduce internationally recognised quality assurance accreditation

Urban industries

  • Supporting the sales and marketing initiatives of Greymouse Fiji Limited and Packleader Pacific Limited, as well as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Council, to promote Fiji as an Outsourced Services (OS) destination
  • Supporting BPO Council to proactively market services to Australia and promote Fiji as an outsourcing destination

Papua New Guinea


  • Developing value-chains for the export of high-grade and sustainable coffee
  • Developing value-chains for the export of value-added cocoa, vanilla and honey
  • Developing the capacity of agri-enterprises to source and market high-quality fresh produce

Sri Lanka


  • Supporting the Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance to establish itself as a collective, unified voice for the industry and improve private sector coordination
  • Working with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority to improve its capacity in tourism data collection and analysis


  • Working with government and semi-government actors to improve the sustainability of crab catch in the Northern Province
  • Assessing reservoir productivity and working with the National Aquaculture Development Authority to improve productivity

Coffee and organic spice

  • Improving the dissemination of extension information to smallholder farmers, using multiple platforms
  • Increasing processing capacity of spices and coffee



  • Increasing production and processing of konjac using outgrowers, seed nurseries and private extension services
  • Improving the availability of commercial pig feed and promoting more productive pig rearing practices
  • Increasing the quality and quantity of speciality coffee
  • Increasing and improving virgin coconut oil production for export
  • Increasing the availability and use of agricultural inputs
  • Improving knowledge on aquaculture practices
  • Increasing the availability and use of commercial fish feed and fish fingerlings


  • Improving the marketing of Timor-Leste as an attractive tourist destination
  • Developing and improving tour products and services
  • Improving policy discussions and coordination between the private and public sectors in the tourism industry


  • Supporting the start-up of new manufacturing enterprises


Livestock (Dairy & meat)

  • Improving access to low-cost nutritious fodder (silage) for livestock farmers
  • Improving access to aggregation services and information for farmers raising milk and meat animals
  • Improving access to formal finance for livestock farmers


  • Improving farmers’ access to agricultural inputs, services and information
  • Supporting investments and innovations in value-added processing of fruits and vegetables sourced from smallholder farmers


  • Improving the footwear industry’s access to locally produced ancillary inputs
  • Supporting leather manufacturers in setting up women-inclusive workplaces to create skills development opportunities for women

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)


  • As of December 2021, MDF Fiji benefitted 20,467 adults, generating over USD $29 million in additional income. 
  • High Value Agriculture continues being the strongest contributor to outreach and income, while Urban Industries contributed to high employment generation. 
  • Women represent 50 per cent outreach across Fiji’s portfolio, with more than 70 per cent of beneficiaries from the Outsourcing Services market system. 
  • In the tourism sector, MDF’s work in the Sea Travel market system, particularly support for Fiji’s Blue Lane Initiative, enabled the arrival of 143 yachts into Fiji in 2021, up from 100 in 2020. With the international borders closed to other forms of tourism for most of the year, this represented significant sales revenue for the industry, generating USD $665,000 in additional market transactions. 

Papua New Guinea

  • MDF PNG benefitted 15,747 adults, generating USD $1.1 million in additional income. 
  • PNG’s work in the coffee sector has been a key contributor to impact. MDF-supported revolving funds supported greater liquidity in the key commodity value chain and enabled aggregators to  purchase coffee from smallholder farmers. 
  • MDF support towards certification in coffee chains supported agribusinesses to access high value international markets and enabled them to pay premiums to certified farmers. 

Sri Lanka

  • MDF Sri Lanka had generated over USD $16.8 million in income for over 29,000 adults, as of December 2021. 
  • Despite the prolonged impact of COVID-19 and political disruptions, the majority of the results achieved during 2021 were with female farmers, showing the increasingly inclusive portfolio. 
  • An MDF-supported coffee cherry sourcing model increased women’s free time and reduced workload. 

Timor Leste

  • As of December 2021, MDF Timor-Leste had benefitted 81,118 adults and generated USD $10.7 million in additional income. 
  • Several initiatives in coffee and agriculture/livestock contribute to Timor Leste’s results, with MDF’s African Swine Fever animal health awareness campaign fostering new private sector investments and farmers upgrading farms, building pens, and getting involved in pig feeding and breeding. 


  • The MDF Pakistan programme closed in 2020, and the post-implementation period closed in June 2022. 
  • MDF Pakistan benefitted 369,325 adults, generating USD $98 million in additional income. 
  • Over USD $5.1 million in private sector investment was leveraged, generating additional revenue amounting to USD $142 million. 
  • In 2021, MDF observed several long-term impacts from its interventions: access to better inputs in Sindh; reduced workload in Baluchistan, particularly among people with disabilities involved in farming; increased use of silage elevated household milk consumption and nutrition in Gilgit-Baltistan.  

Pacific region

Work in Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga is currently in the stages of exploratory market research and early-stage interventions. Impact will be reported as the programmes make further progress (see MDF Phase 3 profile for this)

Impact on poverty

MDF activities had positively impacted a cumulative 428,427 people as of December 2021.

Despite COVID-19 and global headwinds MDF significantly increased its outreach and benefit, generating over USD $157 million in additional income for poor men and women in MDF countries. Women accounted for 44 per cent of the beneficiaries.

In 2021, MDF initiated 57 new interventions – a record for the programme despite challenges - as a  result of MDF’s agile structure and flexible team set-up. 
Detailed results can be found in the Annual Report: MDF 2021 Annual Report.   

[updated May 2023]