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Abstract

The benefits of livelihoods thinking and approaches are widely recognised. This paper focuses on an important gap in much of the conceptualisation and application of "livelihood approaches", a lack of emphasis on markets and their roles in livelihood development and poverty reduction. The omission is important as it can lead to failure to identify and act on market opportunities and constraints and on related institutional issues. The paper explores these arguments in more detail and suggests ways in which they may be addressed before concluding with a brief illustration of the application of the paper's arguments to a desk study on rural market development in Africa.

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