This brief examines the impact of an MSD intervention (InovAgro) in Mozambique that was designed to increase incomes and improve economic security for poor smallholder farmers through improved productivity and development of high-potential value chains.

Findings include:

  • increases in use of inputs and access to market information
  • important spill-over effects for many small-scale farmers beyond the direct beneficiaries
  • high costs-effectiveness of the MSD intervention

There were also some unintended consequences whereby there was a reduction in households’ crop diversification, thus reducing access to, and control over, land by youth. The paper suggests that unless deliberate measures are taken to mainstream gender and youth issues in the design and implementation of similar MSD projects, these unintended effects may undermine their potential to generate desirable outcomes for all.